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Illegal substances and the sentences they carry - (Updated 23 June 2014)

23 Jun 2014

Should you be charged with any offence related to drugs or illegal substances ask your solicitor to contact Forensic Equity whose forensic scientists will be able to provide you with an expert witness report to assist in your defence and reduce the chance that you are wrongly convicted or incorrectly sentenced.

 

Criminal charges for possession, supply and production of illegal substances

Please note that the sentences quoted in this table are maximums and are not reflective of the sentences given in a majority of drugs cases. Not all substances are listed in this table and Forensic Equity takes no responsibility for any changes in the current law which result in errors in the table.

 

Drug


 

Legal status


 

Amphetamines (including dexamphetamine)

Amphetamines are class B drugs.

It is illegal to possess Amphetamines without a prescription or to supply or produce them without a licence. If however they are prepared for injection they become class A substances and are chargeable as such.

Possession of class B drugs carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Trafficking offences (including conspiracy or attempt to supply) carry maximum criminal sentences of 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine.

Possession of class A drugs carries a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Trafficking offences (including conspiracy or attempt to supply) carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.


Anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids are class C drugs.

It is legal to Possess, import and/or export anabolic steroids as long as the drug is for personal use and is in a medicinal form.

Unauthorised supply or production is a criminal offence and carries a maximum of 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine.


Benzodiazepines (including diazepam, flunitrazepam and temazepam)

Benzodiazepines are class C drugs.

It is illegal to possess Benzodiazepines without a prescription, or to supply or production it without a licence.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Supply or production or attempt to, carries a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine.


Buprenorphine (including Subutex)

Buprenorphine is a class C drug.

Possession is illegal without prescription as is any form of supply.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Production carries a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine.


Cannabis

Cannabis is a class B drug.

It is illegal to possess, supply or produce this drug. Particular police guidelines exist in relation to arrest for possession of cannabis under certain circumstances after Cannabis was reclassified to a Class B drug in January 2009.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Trafficking offences (Supply, production, or conspiracy / attempt to) carry a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine.


Cocaine (including crack cocaine)

Cocaine is a class A drug.

Possession without a prescription is illegal as is the supply or production of cocaine.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Supply, production or attempt to, carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.


Codeine

Codeine is a class B drug.However if prepared for injection Codeine becomes a class A substance.

It is illegal to possess Codeine without prescription or to supply or produce it without a licence.

Illegal possession carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Trafficking offences carry a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine.


Drugs on money

Money can be confiscated by the police under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) if it can be shown to be associated with the production, supply or trafficking of drugs.

The charge will can result in a confiscation or forfeiture of cash and or all assets in question and or in the revoking of a public licence.Further criminal charges for drug offences will be dependent on the type of drug detected on the money.


Ecstasy

Ecstasy is a class A drug.

Possession, supply and production, or attempt to, are all illegal.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and/a fine. Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.


GHB

GHB is a class C drug.

It is illegal to possess, supply or produce this drug.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine.


Hallucinogenic mushrooms containing psilocin (magic mustrooms) 

Any fungus which contains psilocin is a class A drug.

It is illegal to possess, supply or produce the fungus. However no offence is committed if the fungus is growing naturally without being cultivated, and has not been picked.

Possession carries a maximum of 7 years imprisonment and/or fine. Supply of magic mushrooms carries a maximum of life imprisonment and/or fine.


Heroin (diamorphine)

Heroin is a class A drug.

It is illegal to possess Heroin without a prescription, or to supply or produce without a licence.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and a fine.Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.


Ketamine

Ketamine is a class C drug.

Possession, supply or production is illegal.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment and/or fine. Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine.


Khat / Mirra
Khat is a class C drug having been classified and made an illegal substance on the 24 June 2014.
A warning will be given for a first possession offence. A penalty notice for disorder (£60 fine) for a second possession offence. A third offence will likely result in arrest and the person charged with possession of a controlled substance. 
Sanctions for supply, possession with intent to supply and the import khat are up to 14 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

 

LSD

LSD is a class A drug.

Possession, supply and production of LSD are all criminal offences.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.


Mephedrone

Mephedrone is a class B drug.

Possession, supply and production of the drug are all illegal and chargeable criminal offences.

Possession of the drug could result a maximum of 5 years' imprisonment and a fine.Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of 14 years' imprisonment and a fine.


Methadone

Methadone is a class A drug.

It is illegal to possess methadone without a prescription. Supply or production without a licence is a chargeable criminal offence.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.


Methylamphetamine

Methylamphetamine is a class A drug.

It is a criminal offence to possess, supply or produce Methylamphetamine.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and/or fine. Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.


Methylone

Methylone is a class B drug.

It is illegal to possess, supply or produce this drug.

Possession of the drug could result in a maximum of 5 years' imprisonment. A conviction for supply or production could result in up to 14 years' imprisonment.


Morphine

Morphine is a class A drug.

It is illegal to possess morphine without a prescription. Supply or production without a licence is a chargeable criminal offence.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.


Opium

Opium is a class A drug.

It is a criminal offence to possess, supply or produce opium.

Possession carries a maximum sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment and a fine. Trafficking offences including production supply or attempt to, carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.


Solvents & gases

It is not illegal to possess solvents and gases.However it is illegal for a retailer to supply, or offer to supply, intoxicating substances to someone under the age of 18.

It is also a criminal offence for a retailer to supply intoxicating substances to someone he believes is acting on behalf of a person under the age of 18.

Furthermore it is illegal to sell cigarette lighter refills containing butane to persons under the age of 18.


 

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