Criminal Law

Drug offences

Our specialist criminal solicitors will offer you all the legal advice and support you need.

Are you under investigation or have you been charged with a Drug Offence?

Lucinda Dore Criminal Solicitors have more than 20-years’ experience representing clients in the Magistrates’ court and the Crown Court on a premium private basis. We can help anybody under investigation or charged with any type of Drug Offences including possession, supply, production, or importation of a controlled drug.
We do not provide legal aid representation which allows us to focus on providing attentive, specialist private criminal solicitor or barrister representation for clients that need expert legal advice, but we offer clear affordable competitive fixed fees according to your own personal circumstances at the outset of your case, so you not have any unexpected legal costs.

Click on one of the following boxes for more details on our service.

Penalty iconPenalty icon for website, application, printing, document, poster design, etc.


The Law. 

It is illegal to possess, supply, produce controlled drugs. It is also illegal to import or export drugs, or to allow your premises to be used for drug production. The principal offences relating to the misuse of controlled drugs are contained in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Furthermore, the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 bans all psychoactive substances (“legal highs”). It makes it an offence to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, import and export psychoactive substances, and to possess a psychoactive substance in prisons and other custodial institutions.
There are four main offences associated with illegal drugs:
Possession means being caught carrying drugs and you can be charged even if you did not know what you had on your possession was a controlled drug or if the drugs are yours or not.
The police have the power to stop, detain and search people on ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they are in possession of a controlled drug.
Supply includes dealing or sharing drugs. It does not require proof of payment or reward. The penalty for supplying drugs depends on the amount of drugs found.
If you are in possession of controlled drugs, and either there is evidence that you were intending to supply those drugs, or you have more drugs than is consistent with personal use, an offence of possession with intent to supply could be committed. This can be proved by direct evidence, for example by witness testimony or surveillance, possessing a quantity of drugs inconsistent with personal use, possessing uncut drugs, having in possession a variety of drugs, evidence the drug has been prepared for sale, for example it has been cut into small portions separately wrapped, and/or drug related equipment being found in the care/control of the suspect, for example weighing scales, cutting agents, bags or wraps.
Production is committed when a suspect has some identifiable participation in the process of producing an illegal drug, by making it, growing it or any other method.
If you are involved in the production of a controlled drug, can be linked to the production process, for example providing premises or equipment, and can be proved to have known a controlled drug was being produced, you can be charged with production of drugs.Growing cannabis plants amounts to “producing” cannabis, even if this is for your own personal use.
When these drugs are prepared and ready for onward distribution, you may also be charged with possession with intent to supply. This may depend on the quantity and location of the drugs as well as the steps taken to make it ready for onward supply.
Importation means the illegal importation or exportation of a controlled drug.

Client care.
Friendly advice.
Trusted by you.

We've represented 100's of happy clients as you will see from our testimonials.

Hi Lucinda - I wanted to thank you for your support during my case. You put my mind at rest and made the whole process not only painless but also stress free, so thank you.

Dear Lucinda, I wanted to say thanks to you once again. you have done the amazing work for me.

Controlled Drugs

Controlled drugs are classed according to their relative degree of overall harm from misuse. There are three classes of controlled drugs. The class of drug a person is caught possessing, supplying or producing affects the severity of the offence.

Class A drugs are treated as the most dangerous and include cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms and crystal meth.
Class B drugs include codeine, ketamine, cannabis and ‘spice’.
Class C drugs include anabolic steroids, minor tranquilisers, GHB and khat.
Synthetic opioids are man-made drugs that mimic the effects of natural opioids like heroin. Some are used legally as prescriptions drugs, for example fentanyl. However, it is illegal to produce, supply or possess synthetic opioids without a prescription. Most synthetic opioids are treated as class A drugs.
Temporary class drugs are new drugs the government can ban for a year before it is decided how they should be classed. If the offence is supply or production, the temporary class drug will usually be treated like a class B drug. Simple possession of a temporary class drug is not an offence.
It is also an offence to supply or produce psychoactive substances like laughing gas. Possession of a psychoactive substance in a custodial institution such as a prison is also illegal.

Criminal Law

Drug Offences Specialist Criminal Solicitors based in West Sussex and London, serving clients throughout the UK

Our expert solicitors know your questions. We have the answers. We can help you.



We can help if you wish to plead not guilty to the offence if you did not commit the offence alleged. The main drug offence defences in law are:
• That you neither knew, suspected, nor had reason to suspect that you were in possession of the drug.
• That you neither believed, suspected, nor had reason to suspect that the substance in question was a controlled drug.
Our solicitors will be able to assess the prosecution evidence against you and advise whether you have a case to legally defend the allegation.


We can help you make an admission to the police or plead guilty at court to a drug matter if you accept full responsibility for the offence. Perhaps you have made a mistake or acted due to personal circumstances and out of your character, whatever the reason, we can professionally advocate in court on your behalf to mitigate the offence to help you achieve the most lenient outcome possible.

Each case is different and dealt with according to its own circumstances. Our solicitors have been representing clients for over 20 years for drug related offences so will be able to advise you of your likely sentence. We will assess the prosecution evidence and take your full instructions on the matter to help us clearly advise you so that you are fully prepared and do not have the anxious wait for the unknown at court.
When deciding on a sentence, for possession, the sentence is determined by class of drug, along with any aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

If the offence is possession with intent to supply, supply, production or importation the court will assess the level of culpability of the offender and the harm caused.

Culpability is a measure of the offender’s role in the offence.

Harm is indicative of the type and quantity of the drug concerned.

Factors such as if the possession was in a school, prison or licenced premises, evidence of “county lines” exploitation, if the drugs were cut with harmful substances, if the drugs were of high purity and/or evidence of community impact will increase the severity of the sentence. But also, some factors such as if the offender is of good character, has shown remorse, has no previous or relevant convictions, are taking steps to address their addiction, has a serious medical condition, can decrease the severity of the sentence. Also, if the defendant pleads guilty, they will receive a reduced sentence.

Lucinda Dore Criminal Drug Offence Solicitors are highly experienced at mitigating a sentence for our clients – we will always strive to achieve the best outcome for you and our reputation proves our success at achieving this. We will advocate for you in court and robustly persuade the court to impose the most lenient sentence for you.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I still be charged for possession of a controlled drug if I didn’t know what I had was a controlled drug or if the drug was not mine?What is the difference between assault and battery?

    Yes, a person will be charged with possession of a control drug even if the drug doesn’t belong to the person caught.

  • Can I be charged with committing an offence if I share drugs with others, but the person did not pay me for them?

    Yes, a person will be charged with supply if they deal or share drugs – even if just with friends, as supply does not require proof of payment or reward.

  • What sentence will I receive if I am found guilty or plead guilty to a drug offence?

    Each case is different and dealt with by the court according to its own circumstances and the personal circumstances of the offender. If you are found in possession of cannabis or khat, the police may deal with this in the form of a warning or on the spot fine for your first offences. However, more serious drug possession cases are likely to be dealt with through the criminal courts.
    The maximum sentence depends on whether a person is charged with possession, supply or production, and what class of drug the offence is related to.
    Class A• Possession - 7 years’ custody, an unlimited fine or both. • Supply, Production and Importation - Life sentence, an unlimited fine or both.
    Class B• Possession - 5 years’ custody, an unlimited fine or both. • Supply, Production and Importation - 14 years’ custody, an unlimited fine or both.
    Class C• Possession - 2 years’ custody, an unlimited fine or both• Supply, Production and Importation - 14 years’ custody, an unlimited fine or both.
    Psychoactive substances• Possession - None, unless you’re in prison.• Supply, Production and Importation - 7 years’ custody, an unlimited fine or both.
    Temporary class drugs• Possession - None, but the police can take away the drug. • Supply, Production and Importation - 14 years’ custody, an unlimited fine or both.

How can we help you?

If you are under investigation by the police for Drug Offences matter or have been charged and have a court date looming, we strongly advise you to seek professional legal representation straight away. The implications of Drug Offences conviction can be severe, don’t leave it too late.
Our solicitors can help minimalize how the police or court deal with the matter. You do not need to face this alone; we pride ourselves with providing professional, robust legal representation whilst providing full support to our clients who are often anxious, embarrassed, or fearful of the potential implications.
In appropriate minor Drug Offences cases where early advice is sought, an early admission and apology can sometimes be enough to avoid a criminal prosecution for a person of previous good character. We will work hard to have your case steer away from the criminal justice system.
If you have been asked to attend an interview under caution at the police station, we will be able to attend the police station with you – we may be able to provide robust early representation to avoid the matter proceeding further to court.
If you have been charged with an offence and are due to attend court, we can book you in for a consultation with one of our specialist solicitors as soon as possible. Most clients request a virtual consultation to work around their working commitments which we can always offer.
Once you have booked in with us, we will start work on your case right away. We will request the prosecution evidence from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). If this is provided before your consultation we will be able to go through all this with you, we will be able to assess the evidence against you and advise whether it is in your best interests to plead Guilty or Not Guilty but even if the evidence is yet available we can take your full instructions, advise you on the relevant law and procedure and prepare you for your court hearing.
If you do not accept the offence you are charged with, we can help you challenge the offence. We will help you to enter a Not Guilty Plea to the Drug Offences matter and represent you at trial - either one or our solicitors will represent you or we will instruct a barrister according to your personal budget. We offer bespoke criminal legal advice and representation, tailored to your own personal needs.
If the evidence against you is strong, or you wish to plead guilty for a mistake made, we have a particularly outstanding reputation for providing expert court mitigation to get the best outcome at court for you.

Contact one of our specialist Drug Offences solicitors today for advice. Lucinda Dore can often fit clients in for a virtual consultation at short notice as we know that you will need urgent advice. We have a service available for all budgets so contact us today for a free no obligation discussion about how we can help you.