Conspiracy to produce cannabis offence is an offence that can come with a stiff punishment. This article provides detailed guidance on the typical sentencing for this offence.

What is the sentence for Conspiracy to produce cannabis offence in 2020?

Conspiracy to produce cannabis is an offence in UK law. Even though the government appears to be heading towards a softening of the law on this drug, led by its potential medical usage, it is still classified as a class B drug and sentencing for it can still be harsh.

Conspiracy to produce cannabis may sometimes be known as conspiracy to cultivate cannabis. It’s referenced in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Being accused of the crime of conspiracy to produce cannabis can be very concerning. The legal definition of this offence is two or more people have agreed to produce cannabis. The actual production of the cannabis may not have occurred as yet, but two people or more have decided that this is the course of action.

UK law is fierce when it comes to the production or supply of drugs. Although Class A drugs are deemed to cause the most damage to society, class B drugs are also considered to be very dangerous, to young people and society.

If you’ve been told that you’re part of an investigation into a conspiracy to produce cannabis offence, the outcome of the allegations made against you will depend on what happened, what your role was and how strong your defence is. Seeking expert legal guidance from lawyers who have specialist knowledge of this field of law is essential for a more favourable outcome.

Have you been charged or arrested for conspiracy to produce cannabis?   

Whether it’s you or somebody close to you who has been arrested or charged in connection with the offence of conspiracy to produce cannabis, it will bring about confusion, worry and stress. There will be a big question about what might happen as a result.

Sometimes people are accused of being involved when that isn’t the case. In certain situations, some people weren’t even aware of what was happening.

We have put together some answers to some of your questions. Please note that we are here for you with the support and guidance that you need.

What type of actions are classified as conspiracy to produce cannabis?

The term ‘conspiracy’ can be interpreted widely in law, as it’s not a word that is defined by legislation. Unfortunately, even being in the wrong place at the wrong time can mean that you can be accused of ‘conspiring’ to commit this offence.

Here are some examples of the actions that may be classified as a conspiracy to produce cannabis. The situation that you’re dealing with may be listed here, or you may have a unique situation that you’ve found yourself in. The fundamental of the offence is that you have agreed to take action to facilitate the production or supply of cannabis.

The actions of conspirators that can result in prosecution include:

Arranging to rent a house in which cannabis will be produced – although the actual act of renting a home is not criminal, doing it to produce cannabis is.

Being involved in planning the crime – even if you’re not planning to take part in the crime, the mere act of planning the crime could see you charged with conspiracy.

Participation in the deal – this includes being a courier, financial manager, look-out, go-between, agent, link in the supply chain or involved in the division of bulk drugs. Other roles included are being involved in the reduction of the purity, weighing and packaging or dividing drugs into smaller deals or advertising.

You don’t even need to have the drugs on you to be prosecuted for conspiracy to produce cannabis. Therefore, it’s essential to seek expert legal advice immediately.

Examples of Class B drugs include:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cannabis
  • Barbiturates
  • Codeine
  • Ritalin
  • Ketamine

What is the average sentence for conspiracy to produce cannabis? 

Conspiracy to produce cannabis is a crime in UK law. A person who is found guilty and convicted may be handed a prison sentence anywhere from six months to fourteen years with a fine of £5000 minimum. It depends on what was agreed in the conspiracy and what happened.

What are some of the mitigating factors that might reduce the conspiracy to produce cannabis sentence?

Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating aspects which can influence the sentence that a judge gives. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.

The following are some of the other factors considered when the Court decides which sentence to give for the conspiracy to produce cannabis offence. They will look at:

  • Any previous conviction
  • Your level of remorse
  • Your level of cooperation with the investigation
  • Whether the activity you took part in was originally legitimate
  • Your reputation / good character
  • Whether you have any serious medical conditions that require long term, urgent or intensive treatment
  • Whether you have a learning disability or a mental disorder
  • Whether you are the sole or primary carer for related dependents

Is it possible to reduce a sentence for conspiracy to produce cannabis with a guilty plea?

In recent years, several changes have been made to the sentencing system in the UK to save the court time and cost and to protect witnesses from the stress of needlessly going through a trial. For offenders aged 18 and over, pleading guilty early on in a case can reduce a sentence by as much as one third (maximum). The later the plea is entered, the smaller the reduction.

‘Early on’ refers to ‘the first stage of the proceedings’ and means anytime up to and including the first hearing at the Magistrates Court or Crown Court for indictable offences.

If a plea is entered 14 days after the first hearing, for example, the maximum level of reduction is just 20% or one-fifth of the sentence. For indictable offences, the limit for a guilty plea to be made is within 28 days after the prosecutor has stated compliance with section 3 of CPIA 1996 and serving disclosure; although the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Judge who has the discretion to apply whatever credit is deemed appropriate.

After these times, there is a sliding scale of credit applied. This goes down to one-tenth on the first day of the trial and to zero if entered during the course of the trial. In theory, the ten per cent could be given if the plea is issued after the opening speeches on the first day, but prior to any witness evidence being heard.

If the accused does not want to plead guilty, then it’s essential for the solicitor to regularly inform the Court throughout the trial of the reasons why the client’s plea is not guilty.

What are some of the other consequences of the conspiracy to produce cannabis?  

Ancillary Orders

A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of a conspiracy to rape offence. These are extra elements of punishment that can be added to a sentence and include additional restrictions or requirements that can affect a dependent’s finances, your property or business or financial activity.

Ancillary orders that are typically added to the penalty for those who are found to be guilty of conspiracy to produce cannabis include:

  • Compensation for loss
  • Restraint orders
  • Reparation orders
  • Being on licence
  • Confiscation orders

As part of your investigation, you may also have your assets frozen with the possibility of having cash or other assets seized.

In addition, the Court may demand payment of the following if the accused is convicted:

Payment of costs applied for by the prosecutors

Although the police meet some of the costs involved in the prosecution, the costs of investigation are typically sought from the convicted. These may include the costs of:

  • The work done in obtaining enough evidence for prosecution either at the initial stage or later at the request of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • Seeking medical or expert evidence as part of the investigation, (where a witness is required to attend Court, the cost of the attendance falls on the CPS).
  • Re-interviewing witnesses
  • The entire costs of the prosecutor, including fees for the use of external Barristers used by the CPS, can be recovered from the defendant, subject to means. At the end of the case, the prosecutor under The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 will request the Judge to order a sum to be paid for the costs incurred by the prosecutor in bringing the prosecution.

Victims surcharges

The term victims’ surcharges can be explained as paying compensation to a fund for victims and can range between £20 to £170 depending on what sentence you were given at conviction.

How sentences can be added to national information databases

There are several national databases that hold information about individuals and any allegations made about them, their criminal and court records. These include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) and the Police National Computer (PNC).  Depending on what happened, whether the accused is convicted and what sentence was issued, the accused may be added to one or all these databases. Their purpose is to provide information to potential employers and to regulate the ability to take part in certain activities.

If your case progresses to Court and you are convicted of conspiracy to rape, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.

Below are details on how long you will be listed as holding a criminal record if convicted. This is something very serious to consider when it comes to future employment. The term ‘spent’ refers to when your name can be removed from the databases.

Rehabilitation Period
(the time it takes for the sentence to become ‘spent’)
Sentence Adult (aged 18+) at time of conviction Young person (aged under 18) at time of conviction
Prison sentences of more than 4 years Sentence is never spent Sentence is never spent
Prison sentences of more than 2.5 years (30 months) but less than 4 years Sentence length 7 years Sentence length 3.5 years
Prison sentences of more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years (30 months) Sentence length +4 years Sentence length +2 years
Prison sentences of less than 6 months Sentence length + 2 years Sentence length +18 months
Conditional Discharge Length of order Length of order
Absolute Discharge None None
Conditional Caution 3 months 3 months
Simple Caution / Youth Caution None – immediately ‘spent’ None – immediately ‘spent’
Other Including Compensation Order, Supervision Order, Bind Over, Hospital Order Length of the order / once compensation is paid Length of the order / once compensation is paid

You may have been falsely accused of conspiracy to produce cannabis

Although the term ‘conspiracy’ is not defined by legislation, it means ‘agreement’.

People from any walk of life can be accused of conspiracy to produce cannabis. Even if you are taking part in text or WhatsApp messages or conversations over social media accounts, you may be putting yourself at risk of being accused.

What does the prosecution need to convict you for conspiracy to produce cannabis?

If the prosecution can prove that you were aware that the plan was to produce cannabis, and you were ready to act based on that knowledge, they may well gain a conviction.

How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?

We handle cases in the arena of conspiracy to produce cannabis regularly and have accrued deep expertise in this field. When you contact us, we will initially discuss your situation with you and understand what happened and who was involved.

If you have already been arrested or charged, we will come to the police station to represent you in your interview with the police. We will demand to see any evidence that the police have on you and will guide you on what you should and shouldn’t say in your defence.

Many people come to us for help when they’ve been charged with a drugs offence. We know the regulations inside out and will look at every case for the most active defence. Sometimes people are charged in error; if this is the case, we will look to see how we can get your case dismissed.

In short, it’s essential that you are correctly legally represented when you first hear anything about potentially being involved in a drugs offence case. By contacting us as soon as possible, we can typically get you a better result as we will proactively work on your case. We have detailed knowledge of the 1971 Act and the drugs involved in your alleged conspiracy.

What will happen when I instruct a conspiracy to produce cannabis lawyer?

When you contact us to instruct us to be your lawyer in your conspiracy to produce cannabis case, we can then work on finding out the details such as why you are accused. Once you provide us with further information, we can then work on building you a strong defence. We have extensive experience and have handled many conspiracies to supply class B drugs cases.

As a result, you will feel a lot more at ease about the situation once you know that we are handling it for you. We have a specialist criminal defence team who are very up to date on the law with regards to drug offences. Our team will meticulously prepare a strong defence that may even result in your being acquitted of all offences.

Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?

If you’d like to have a no-obligation chat with us before you instruct us to take your case, then call us today.

In addition to giving you a free consultation, we can also represent you at the police station if you’ve been arrested. We can look at securing your legal aid.

Please contact us or call us on 0208 888 5225 for a face to face meeting or a telephone call. There is a WhatsApp link at the bottom of the page if that is your preference.

 

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