Class A drug supply client - we obtain community order.Non-custodial sentence - no prison
Case study summary
Our client was charged with possession with intent to supply illegal psychoactive substances. He faced up to 5 years in prison. Our client was a young student, and terrified. He came to us after being represented by another firm. We made sure his worst fears didn't come true.
Our client had been arrested by police on patrol who suspected that he may have drugs on him. A small amount of cannabis was found in his car. The police then decided to search his home.
In his bedroom, the police found a bag of yellow pills and over 350 diazepam tablets. The police seized his mobile phone and analysed all of his mobile phone messages. This revealed that he had been dealing these drugs to various people. Even though it was a small operation, the police found enough evidence to charge him with possession with intent to supply drugs of Class A, B and C contrary to s.4 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Our client was a university student in the final year of his degree in engineering and had genuine prospects upon graduation. He was ready to take his final set of exams when this happened. He had never been in this situation before and he asked for the duty solicitor for his first interview at the police station. Afterwards, he realised that he needed specialists to take on his case, so came to us.
When he came to us, he told us that he was selling the drugs to his friends but had never sold them to anyone he did not know. This was not the picture the police were trying to portray. In reality, this was a case where he was only guilty of social supply of drugs.
We asked more about his circumstances and found out that the client had suffered with mental health issues for a number of years. He had been using these drugs in order to self-medicate. He would never make a profit and would use the money that he earned from selling the drugs to buy more for himself. He was stuck in a vicious cycle and was extremely remorseful for what he had done.
It was clear to us that more evidence was needed in order to present an accurate picture to the court. We instructed our own psychologist to write a report about our client's mental health and how it may have contributed to the offences. We also obtained character references from his friends, family, and even university lecturers to ensure that his good character was put forward.
We then requested the full download of our client's phone from the police and went through the messages page-by-page. It was clear from the types of conversations, that our client was only dealing to his friends at university. Before his sentencing hearing, we made representations to the Crown Prosecution Service to persuade them to change the way they were putting their case against our client. Eventually, they were forced to agree that our client's 'drug dealing operation' had not been as sophisticated as they were making out.
In the end, we were able to bring down the seriousness of the situation. This gave our client a much better chance of avoiding prison. Our hand selected drugs specialist barrister presented the case to court. We also provided to the court the report from the psychologist and the various character references. Having heard and seen our evidence, the judge made what we believed was the correct decision to suspend the sentence. The client avoided prison, having been in fear for months that he was headed for a jail term.
He was able to put this behind him and continue his studies, completing his final year at university. He, and also his parents were delighted with the outcome.
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