Top Drugs Barrister Chambers
25 Bedford Row’s drugs barristers are specialists in advice and advocacy in proceedings relating to the supply, importation & possession of legal and illegal drugs. We have particular experience of complex cases involving serious and organised crime, large-scale conspiracies, and undercover police investigations. Our barristers include some of the leading experts on synthetic drugs and psychoactive substances, with extensive experience of issues relating to the classification of drugs.
What types of cases do 25 Bedford Row’s drugs law barristers deal with?
The specialist drugs barristers at 25 Bedford Row can provide advice and representation regarding all drugs matters. We are expert in defending allegations of conspiracy to supply drugs and have acted in some of the most serious and complex drugs prosecutions.
Possession of drugs
Personal possession of drugs – even the smallest amount – can lead to criminal charges and imprisonment in serious cases. Although cases of possession of drugs are common, for many defendants a criminal conviction for possession of drugs will have serious consequences for their personal and professional life. At 25 Bedford Row, our top drugs barristers work to secure the best outcome in any case, ensuring that clients are properly advised at every stage.
Possession with intent to supply
Possession of drugs with intent to supply, or drug dealing, is viewed by the courts as significantly more serious than possession for personal use. Sentences can be severe. Defending cases where drug trafficking and supply is alleged requires a knowledge and understanding of the market for illegal drugs, drug purity and quantity. Prosecutors will often rely on a range of supporting evidence including mobile phone data, cash and financial records, and expert evidence. Our top ranked drugs barristers are experienced in the careful analysis of evidence of alleged drug supply and trafficking, and will offer expert representation throughout proceedings.
Importation of illegal drugs is a serious offence. Investigations into this type of crime can take many months and involve numerous suspects and strands of evidence in the UK and abroad.
Our specialist drugs barristers will carefully assess your situation and determine the best defence strategy. At 25 Bedford Row our barrister pride themselves on robustly representing clients to ensure their interests are protected at every stage of an investigation or prosecution. Our client benefit from our expertise and experience at the forefront of this complex area of law.
Cultivation and production of illegal drugs
Our top drugs barristers have a wealth of experience in dealing with prosecutions involving drug production and cultivation, from small individual producers, to commercial-scale operations worth millions of pounds. We have extensive experience of cases involving virtually every other illegal narcotics, including cocaine, heroin, cannabis, MDMA, ecstasy, ketamine and many others. Our drugs barristers will fearlessly represent you, understanding and unpicking the evidence and providing effective assistance every case.
Manufacture or supply of a controlled substance
Controlled substances are drugs that have some potential for abuse or dependence, which are currently controlled under the misuse of drugs legislation. Though this includes drugs that are illegal to possess in the UK such as cannabis, it also includes some prescription medications. Regulations relating to controlled substances can affect a variety of individuals and businesses and our top drugs barristers frequently advise on such cases.
The Pyshco-active Substances Act came into force in May 2016. It dramatically extended the criminalisation of the possession and supply of substances which can generically be referred to as ‘drugs’. It does not affect the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 which remains in force in connection with the possession, supply and trafficking of cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin as well as other less known narcotic substances which feature in its schedules. It is not substance-focused, but was designed to deal with the rise in the supply and use of so-called ‘legal highs’.
What is a Psychoactive Substance?
It is defined as any substance “capable of producing a psychoactive effect” which is not an exempted substance.
What is an exempted substance?
Basically, anything that is already illegal plus medicines, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine or food.
What are the offences created by the Act?
Producing a psychoactive substance, supplying or offering to supply it, a new offence of aggravated supply which occurs when supply takes place within the vicinity of a school, using an underage courier or in a custodial institution and importing or exporting it. Finally, there is an additional offence of possession only but in a custodial institution (e.g. prison).
It is not a crime to possess a psychoactive substance outside of a custodial institution.
There are various additional provisions which give the police powers to enforce the legislation, provide for corporate liability and the making of prohibition orders on conviction
What experience does 25 Bedford Row have with drugs law cases?
Our collective experience has ranged from representing those facing multi-million-pound drug trafficking charges (nationally and internationally), to individuals accused of simple possession of small quantities of drugs.
We advise businesses on the developing regulatory framework in relation to controlled drugs and other psychoactive substances.
25 Bedford Row’s drugs barristers are used to handling multi-defendant complex conspiracy trials. We understand of the sensitivities involved multi-handed trials and are frequently instructed in trials concerning serious allegations of drug trafficking. We also deal with drugs related offences, including money laundering and firearms offences.
25 Bedford Row’s drugs barristers provided the highest quality of advice and representation.
Why do I need a drugs law barrister? Can’t I just use a solicitor?
Barristers are engaged by solicitors and individual clients to provide specialist advise on the law and the evidence, to draft legal documents, and to structure and present the case in court in order to achieve the best result. Drugs barristers at 25 Bedford Row can help by advising clients from a very early stage, even before a charging decision is made.
Some solicitors provide advocacy services to their clients, although many prefer to instruct a barrister to do this because barristers are specialist advocates, expert in the presentation of cases in court. Clients are entitled to ask their solicitor to instruct the barrister of their choice, whether or not the case is privately funded or Legally Aided.
At 25 Bedford Row our drugs barristers are instructed by the leading solicitors in the field.
What is the process of instructing a drugs law barrister?
Barristers are usually instructed through a solicitor. 25 Bedford Row has a good working relationship with solicitors and together will be able to help identify the most suitable drugs barrister to deal with your case. If a client has a chosen barrister in mind they may ask their solicitor to instruct that barrister. Your barrister will consider the papers in your case and may advise in writing or at meeting with you prior to going to court.
Many barristers at 25 Bedford Row also accept instructions directly from members of the public under the Direct Access Scheme.
What is the Direct Access Scheme?
Members of the public seeking legal advice or representation can now approach a specialist barrister directly without the need to first engage the services of a solicitor.
If you wish to instruct a drugs barrister directly without a solicitor, you can do so by getting in touch with our clerks. A clerk will advise on which Chambers would be suitable for your case. From there you will work directly with a specialist drugs barrister who will be at hand for pragmatic legal advice and representation from start to finish.
To instruct our drugs barristers directly, contact chambers by telephone or email with details of your case and your requirements. Our experienced clerks will advise on which drugs barristers may be suitable and the likely cost.
Can I use the Direct Access Scheme for drugs law cases?
It may be possible for you to instruct one of our drugs barristers directly. Get in touch with our clerk’s room to find out whether or not your case is suitable for the Direct Access Scheme.
Is it possible to get legal aid for drugs law barristers using the Direct Access Scheme?
Legal aid is not available for Direct Access clients. However, our top drugs barristers do accept legal aid instructions from solicitors. If you wish to be represented by a 25 Bedford Row drugs barrister you may request that you solicitor instructs the barrister of your choice.
Their reputation for excellence is demonstrated by involvement in almost every recent major serious trial