A new three tier system for dealing with recreational drug possession offences has been proposed. According to the government, “consequences should be tough, but they should also be fair and meaningful”.

Possession offences

If you have been caught in possession of an illegal substance, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. Our drug offence solicitors can represent you throughout proceedings. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

New regime for drug possession offences

The re-offending rate for drug offences has remained largely unchanged over the past 10 years, leading the government to conclude that reform is necessary. It has, therefore, proposed a new three tier system aimed at reducing drug possession offences. It would work as follows:

Tier 1: For a first-time drug possession offence, a person should be given a fixed penalty notice requiring them to attend (and pay for) a drugs awareness course. Non-attendance will result in an increase financial penalty. Non-payment will lead to enforcement proceedings or prosecution for the original offence.

Tier 2: For a second-time drug possession offence, a person would be offered a caution. This might include a period of mandatory drug testing, plus attendance at a further drugs awareness course.

Tier 3: For subsequent drug possession offences, a person would be charged. If found guilty, a new civil court order would allow the court to impose any of the following conditions: an exclusion order, drug tagging, passport confiscation and a driving licence qualification.

These penalties are tougher than those currently handed down for drug possession offences. In addition, the government has proposed greater drug testing powers on arrest, thereby allowing the police to drug test a wider variety of individuals.

What happens next?

The consultation on the government’s proposals is open until 10 October 2022. Any legal changes are unlikely to happen until next year. We will continue to post updates on our blog.

Help from a lawyer

In the year to March 2021, there were 166,618 police recorded crimes for drug possession. This makes it the most common drug offence by far, accounting for 80% of overall police recorded drug offences.

Drug possession offences can affect all types of people, of all ages, from all walks of life. If you have been caught, we understand that it is a very scary prospect. You might never have been in trouble with the law before, or you might have been caught in possession of drugs before, meaning you are now concerned about facing harsher penalties.

Whatever the circumstances, we can help you. Our criminal defence lawyers represent people who have been caught in possession of a controlled substance, be it a class A, class B or class C drugs. Contact us now for expert legal advice.

Drug Possession Offences

If you are looking for a criminal defence lawyer, contact us now for a free, confidential discussion. We are members of the Legal Aid scheme.

Call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.