At Gavran Criminal Defence, we are dedicated to skillfully and strategically defending all drug charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act (“CDSA”).

The CDSA is the federal law under which the police have the authority to lay drug related charges and for the federal government to prosecute individuals who possess, traffic, import/export any prohibited or controlled substance as defined by the Act. These “controlled substances” include drugs such as cannabis (marihuana), cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, and fentanyl.

The federal government has a strong agenda of protecting the public when prosecuting harsh drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl as these drugs can have a devastating effect even from a single use. As such, depending on the type of illegal substance and the purpose of the possession, the punishment may be severe.


Just like with arrests under the Criminal Code of Canada, the police have an obligation to respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom when making arrests under the CDSA. While breach of Charter rights is not technically a defence against drug charges, proving a breach may result in the evidence (such as drugs) being excluded and a dismissal of the criminal charges.

At the minimum, the federal government must prove possession and knowledge to secure a conviction, in addition to proving the nature of the substance. For example, if police found cocaine in a house that you were visiting at the time, while you might have had knowledge of the drugs, your ability to control the drugs, such as take possession of it, might be absent. Therefore, even if the alleged facts seem unbeatable at the outset, an experienced criminal defence lawyer should be consulted prior to making any decisions such as accepting responsibility for the offence.

It is important to retain a criminal lawyer who can identify potential defences available to individuals charged with drug-related offences. Call (647) 624-6324 to have us sit with you, review your case and help you make the best decision for yourself.