The law courts can be a frightening place. Being accused of cannabis cultivation could mean facing a harsh prison sentence.
It’s no secret that in cannabis cultivation and production cases the police will often inflate the commercial value of the drugs which has a direct impact on any sentence a court will pass as well as creating a false narrative to the jury hearing the case.
Engaging good criminal solicitors means that you can rely upon their knowledge and defence as drug experts to reduce the evidence to its reality.
The police may have evidence that you’ve been involved in growing cannabis plants. Surveillance cameras may have caught you, undercover police officers, stopped and searched or you may have been caught in the act through another means. This is a situation where it’s in your favour to seek the advice of a robust legal team immediately.
Feeling anxious about what might happen to you at this point is natural. To provide you with the emotional and practical support that you need at a time like this, we’ve provided some answers to typical questions.
Have you been arrested or charged with Cultivation of Cannabis?
If you or somebody close to you has been charged or arrested in connection with a cannabis cultivation case, you may be feeling frightened, confused and worried about what the outcome of an investigation might be.
In some cases, you may have been invited to the police station to discuss your involvement, or you may have been charged with this offence when you should instead have been charged only with possession.
In this article, we aim to answer some of your questions and provide you with the support and guidance that you need.
If you have any questions that you cannot find an answer to below, feel free to contact us for further guidance. We are always happy to speak with you about what to expect and which steps you should take.
What type of actions are considered Cultivation of Cannabis?
Some police forces, such as Durham Police Force have deemed the crime as not being a top priority, and therefore don’t invest much time targeting individuals who are suspected of taking part in the cultivation of cannabis on a small scale. If the plants are for personal use, they are more likely to work with the people in question, such as just removing the plants and issuing the grower with a caution.
Although the decriminalisation of drugs is a debate in which many police force chiefs are keen to take part, the reality of it becoming a formal policy is not close at this time.
The current status means that cultivating any part of a cannabis plant is illegal. This means that if you germinate the seeds, you are committing a crime. However, having cannabis seeds in your possession or supplying cannabis seeds is not considered to be a crime. Something to note is that the charge of cultivation and the charge of the production of cannabis can’t be used together; it must be one or the other.
Whatever your situation, it’s essential that you don’t attend a police interview without being accompanied by a competent solicitor. The police may invite you for a ‘chat’ or even tell you they want to hear your side of the story. However, the content of any meeting or telephone conversation you have with the police can be used as evidence and proof of your involvement.
Under no circumstances should you attend the police station without a qualified and skilled legal representative. Doing so could put you at risk of being incriminated. The police have been trained in using tactics to gain a conviction. Some of their methods are not transparent and are designed to trip you up into incriminating yourself. You need the support of a legal professional to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
What happens in a cultivation of Cannabis investigation?
When a cannabis cultivation investigation takes place, it can understandably make the accused feel worried and anxious. Anybody in this position will be feeling concerned about receiving a lengthy prison sentence. You may worry that you won’t be able to cover your bills or have enough food for your family to eat. Everything feels very uncertain and unsettled.
The police will most likely want you to visit the police station to interview you about your involvement. You’ll likely to receive an invitation to visit the police station if you haven’t already been arrested or charged.
You may have been falsely accused of cultivation of cannabis
Please also note that in many cases, people are wrongly accused of cannabis cultivation. There may have been confusion about who was involved. If you feel this is your situation, there is a chance that your case for cannabis cultivation could be dismissed.
Without a lawyer, you cannot find out more until the interview
You’re very unlikely to be told why you’re being investigated or any other details about your case until you are at the meeting and in a situation where you can be questioned.
What many people find challenging is when law enforcement officers are given permission to investigate every area of your life. They will look at your phone, social media accounts and email. The purpose of the search is to obtain evidence to prove that you committed a crime. This evidence will be used against you in court.
Instruct a legal professional as soon as possible
Successful results in such cases require early intervention and sometimes strategic negotiations with the prosecution to dismiss the charge. It is vital that you engage a drugs offence lawyer or criminal solicitor very early in the case. You will receive guidance on what is better for you when the police are interviewing you, you will be informed of the entire court process, and you will always feel somebody watching over you who has your best interests in mind.
Can the police search my home?
The police will request a search warrant so that they can look for evidence in your home. As law enforcement officers, they will be seeking proof to secure a conviction. They may even request a search warrant for your workplace.
Could you go to prison for cultivation of Cannabis?
If your cannabis cultivation case reaches court and you are convicted, you will typically be punished with a prison sentence.
However, much depends on the number of plants and the value of the cannabis yielded, whether the cultivation was for personal use of large commercial supply.
In the best case scenario and where cultivation of cannabis takes place for personal use, prison can usually be avoided unless you have previous criminal convictions.
What type of sentence could you get for cultivation of Cannabis?
The severity of the sentence depends on the role attributed to you in the cannabis cultivation investigation, combined with the quantity involved and the nature of the operation. The sentencing guidelines council has produced definitive guidance for drugs offences, including cannabis cultivation.
The offence of cultivation is classified as being an either-way offence. This offence carries a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment in the magistrates’ court and 14 years’ custody in the crown court, on trial on indictment. In some cases, the case is dismissed and a fine is given.
For simple possession of cannabis plant charges, the court is likely to impose a small fine if you are of previous good character or your past convictions are historic.
What mitigating factors may be considered in sentencing?
When sentencing for cannabis cultivation, your case will be looked at carefully. The quantity of drugs you had in your possession will be examined to decide upon your sentence. Each case is looked at on an individual basis. The size of the operation, the role of the individual and other factors are considered.
Does a conviction for Cultivation of Cannabis go on your criminal record?
If your cultivation of cannabis case is heard in court and you are convicted of the crime, your conviction will be recorded on your CRB / police record.
The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of the sentence imposed on you.
In addition, you will most likely face confiscation proceedings and the prosecution will seek to strip you from your assets or demand a further and additional term of imprisonment for not paying the money.
It’s important to note that if you use a drugs offence lawyer who is competent and experienced, there is a good chance they may even get your case dismissed before it reaches the court stage.
How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?
We handle drug offence cases regularly and have in-depth knowledge and experience in this field. We can help you by recommending the best course of action to take to mitigate the outcome. No matter what size your case is, get in touch.
Our criminal law solicitors have expertise defending those wrongly accused of cannabis cultivation under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Due to years of experience in successfully defending such cases, we understand the complexities of the cultivation requirements which include the growth medium such as hydroponics, potassium, as well as the stages of development.
Our street-smart criminal law solicitors have knowledge of the true market value and how drugs are brought to the market. Armed with practical knowledge our lawyers will challenge every aspect of the prosecution’s case in the quest to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Section 6 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 makes it unlawful for a person to cultivate any plant of the genus cannabis. Cannabis production is a class B offence under the 1971 Act.
The law states that it is not an offence to supply or possess cannabis seeds. However, it’s a crime to grow the seeds. The law also gives the prosecution the power to charge the accused person with either production or cultivation. In some cases, the prosecution may prefer ‘production’ rather than cultivation because production is a considered to be a trafficking offence which allows the court to order confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 . Confiscation proceedings can have devastating consequences for you and your family since the prosecution will argue that your assets, property and well-earned money represents proceeds of cannabis cultivation and seek the confiscation of virtually everything you have.
Please contact us and ask to speak to our criminal law solicitors to arrange a meeting, whether in person, online or by telephone.
What will happen when I instruct a drugs offences solicitor?
It’s vital to take early action when you discover that you’re going to be part of a drug offence investigation. By doing so, you can put yourself in the best possible position with regards to achieving a positive outcome. You may even be able to work with a lawyer to get your cannabis cultivation case dismissed.
You will feel a lot more at ease about the situation as you’ll know that somebody with both experience and tactical expertise is handling it for you. We have a specialist drug offences legal team who are up-to-date on this field of law.
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 for a face to face meeting or a telephone call. There is a WhatsApp link on this page if that is your preference.