Lawtons Solicitors has a specialist team operating in the complicated area of law associated with drug offences.

The prices of drugs charged at street level in the UK are some of the highest in Europe, which means that the UK illegal drugs market is extremely attractive to criminals. The commercial distribution of drugs is by far the most lucrative stage in the process from the cultivation and production of the illicit drug to the point of final consumption, but if you are found guilty the penalties are harsh and the consequences life-changing.

Whilst drug dealing and supply is not considered as serious as drug trafficking, it still carries a significant sentence and will inevitably impact on every aspect of life. As in all drug offence cases, the punishment, and subsequent consequences, will depend on aggravating factors, including the defendant’s culpability, quantity and type of drug involved.

The complexity of the law and consideration of many aggravating factors, means it is advisable to seek expert advice as early as possible in police investigations to ensure your case is considered in detail and that the most favourable result, in the circumstances, is obtained on your behalf.


Drug Offences & The Law

The law regarding dealing or supply of drugs surrounds the intention of passing a controlled substance to someone else.  This means that even if you are passing a cannabis cigarette joint between friends, you can be liable and face serious consequences.

The intention (whether for personal use only, which must be proven) and classification of the drugs supplied will influence whether the Magistrates’ or Crown Court will deal with your case. Drugs offences are categorised as ‘either-way’ offences, meaning cases can be heard in either court and vary greatly in seriousness. Magistrates make the initial decision about whether a case is sufficiently serious to be heard in the Crown Court or will remain in the magistrates’ court.

Here, supplying drugs will be separated into actual supply, aggravated supply that has surrounding circumstances, offer to supply, involvement or concern in supply, and possession with intent to supply.

The overall sentence will also be determined by factors such as the quality and quantity of drugs, and whether dealing has been cited to be part of a larger operation.

In a larger operation, the court will then assess what role you have taken (leadership, significant or lesser involvement) to determine your sentence.

The starting point and maximum penalty for a drug supply offence will be determined by what ‘class’ of drug was involved. There is a range of sentencing options that the court should have regard to when it is considering what punishment to impose. The court must give its reasons if it is going to stray outside the range, and therefore it is rare that the court will give a sentence outside the appropriate range.


What to do if you are accused of drug offences?

If you have been charged with a drug offence you should immediately take expert legal advice.

To help you through the process, it is best to gain legal advice from drug offence solicitors as soon as possible so that all the contributing factors leading up to a police investigation are considered and can be presented fairly in court.

Lawtons Solicitors specialist drugs team is best placed to offer the necessary support and guidance every step of the way.


Contact Us

For more information on laws and sentences relating to drug dealing and supply, please call us on 0333 202 0972 or email


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