Adam Steven Boni LL.B.
Toronto Drug Crimes Lawyer
Adam Steven Boni is a former Federal Prosecutor who represented the government in hundreds of drug cases before judges and juries in Toronto and Brampton until 1999. Since that time, he has successfully defended thousands of individuals charged with drug offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Food and Drug Act. His extensive experience in Charter of Rights litigation, Search Warrant and Wiretap review, make Mr. Boni a formidable advocate in any courtroom. You can read about his most recent, major victory in a drug case here: https://canlii.ca/t/jr2mg.
Experience in Defending Drug Crimes in Toronto
He has successfully defended individuals charged with conspiracy, importing, trafficking, production and possession of illegal drugs. He has also been retained by companies under investigation for international drug crimes and assisted them in clearing their good names.
Since 2004, Mr. Boni has co-authored Sentencing Drug Offenders - the only national sentencing text solely devoted to drug offenders - which is published for law students, lawyers and judges.
Thought Leadership in Drug Defence
Mr. Boni has written extensively on search and seizure issues, search warrant and wiretap review, including "Bill C-13: Laying the Foundation for the Modern Canadian Surveillance State" (For the Defence Magazine 2015), "The Practitioner's Guide to Search Warrant Review" (Law Society of Upper Canada, The Complete Guide to Search Warrants Program 2015) and the "ABCs of Search Warrant Review" (For the Defence Magazine 2010). He has testified as an expert in the prosecution and defense of wiretap cases before the Federal Court of Canada. Mr. Boni has also lectured extensively on search and seizure law, most recently on "Challenging Warrants and Wiretaps" at the 2020 Ontario Criminal Lawyers Association Fall Conference.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Crimes in Toronto
The federal law that creates offences and penalties for drug offences in Canada is called The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act ("CDSA"). There are schedules attached to the CDSA that list and classify controlled drugs and substances.
You can be charged with Drug Possession, Possession for the purpose of Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Drug Production and Drug Importing for the drugs and substances listed in Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V.
Is Possession of Controlled Drugs & Substances a Criminal Offence?
In Canada, drug possession is a criminal offence, established by a federal statute, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. For this reason, drug offences are prosecuted by the Federal Crown as opposed to the Provincial Crown, who typically prosecutes only Criminal Code charges. It is important to note that drug possession is a hybrid offence, meaning it can be tried as a summary conviction or an indictable case.
The Federal Crown will "elect" to proceed either by summary conviction or by indictment early on in your case. This decision depends on the severity of the offence, the type of drugs involved and their quantity. This decision will also affect your procedural options (i.e., trial in Ontario Court or preliminary hearing in Ontario Court and trial in Superior Court), and the potential penalties you risk after a conviction.
Can I Get Arrested if My Spouse or Roommate Is Possessing Drugs to Sell Them?
Yes, it is possible to be arrested if your spouse is selling or in possession of drugs. You can be charged with drug possession. Joint possession of an illegal substance is where one of two or more persons is found in possession of a given drug with the knowledge and consent of others. Joint possession does not require the element of control that is necessary to prove constructive or actual possession. Instead, joint possession requires consent.
As an example, the spouse of a drug trafficker may be found guilty of joint possession if the evidence proves they permitted their partner to hide drugs on their joint property or in their jointly owned vehicle. Ultimately, it is illegal to knowingly have any prohibited drugs in your possession at any time, even if they don't belong to you.
What Is Drug Trafficking and Is It a Criminal Offence?
Drug trafficking is a serious criminal offence in Canada. Trafficking is defined to include:
(a) to sell, administer, give, transfer, transport, send or deliver the substance,
(b) to sell an authorization to obtain the substance, or
(c) to offer to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b),
In Canada, no person shall traffic in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV or V or in any substance represented or held out by that person to be such a substance.
How Do You prove Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking?
Drug possession and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking are two separate offences in Canada. Drug trafficking includes selling, giving, delivering and providing drugs as well as offering to do any of these things.
If someone is charged with the possession of a drug for the purpose of trafficking, the Crown has to prove that the person possessed the illegal drug solely for the purpose of trafficking (eg., selling) them to others. This offence is prospective in nature, i.e., the prosecution does not need to prove that drugs were actually sold, but rather, that the accused possessed them with the sole intention of selling or distributing them, or offering them for sale or distribution to others, in the future
There are many factors the court will consider when determining whether or not a person is in possession of a drug for the purpose of trafficking. Such factors include the quantity of the drugs involved, the total street value of those drugs, the presence and amount and denomination of any money seized with the drugs, the presence of drug sale or drug use paraphernalia found, and any expert testimony that the Crown may elicit from a duly qualified drug expert.
If a reasonable doubt exists that your possession of that substance was for personal use, you cannot be convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking. However, you can and will be convicted of simple possession of that drug, unless your lawyer can argue that a reasonable doubt exists on the proof of possession.
What Is Drug Importing and Is It a Criminal Offence?
Drug importing is a one of the most serious offences in the CDSA. Except as authorized under a regulation, no person shall import into Canada or export from Canada a substance included in Schedules I to VI of the CDSA. The Crown must prove that the accused person intentionally imported the controlled drug or substance, knowing that it was an illegal drug or substance.
Importation can take several forms, including crossing the boarder into Canada on the ground by automobile, in the air by airplane, or on the high seas by boat. You can be guilty of drug importing even if you did not personally bring the drug into Canada if you arranged for an caused the drug to be imported through mail or transportation systems, or if you intentionally aided or encouraged another person to bring the drug into Canada.
The crown does not need to prove that the accused was correct in his or her knowledge of the nature of the drug imported. In other words, if you possessed heroin, but thought it was cocaine, that is not a bar to a conviction. All the crown needs to prove is that you knew at the time of the offence that it was an illegal drug.
It is important to note that Canadian law defines "knowledge" in this context to include "wilful blindness". "Wilful blindness" is the state of mind of a person who reasonably suspects that she is in possession of a drug, but deliberately does not ask questions or seek out confirmation of her suspicions, because she prefers to remain "blind". In Canada, the crown can rely on this doctrine to prove guilty knowledge in an importation case.
When your liberty, livelihood and reputation is at stake, trust an experienced trial lawyer.
Understanding Your Case
I offer private in person and virtual consultations in a highly confidential setting, so you can regain your peace of mind as quickly as possible. This helps me to develop a proper solicitor-client relationship with you and the ability to effectively and efficiently assess your case.
I consider the charges, the strength of the evidence, and your possible defences in consultation with you and experts we may retain to assist with your defence. With this information, I can provide representation that can end a case before it ever reaches the trial court.
Fight for Justice
Don't let a false accusation or a single mistake devastate you and your family. I am a highly experienced trial lawyer who enjoys obtaining results for his clients through difficult negotiations and contested trials. I will fight for you and endeavour to provide you with the best possible outcome.
Defending Drug Cases
Drug cases sound simple to prove, but often they are not. A skilled and experienced defence lawyer who is familiar with police procedures, evidence and Charter of Rights law can mount a significant and successful challenge to these cases. It is critical that the lawyer you hire understands the work done by searching officers, seizing and exhibits officers, scenes of crime officers, and drug expert officers, so that their evidence can be properly and carefully examined and critiqued. It is also extremely important that the lawyer you hire is conversant with and up to date in respect of constitutional law.
Multiple Charter of Rights issues arise in the drug enforcement context including, unreasonable search and seizure (section 8), arbitrary detention and arrest (section 9), and the right to be informed of the reason for detention or arrest immediately, and the right to be informed and to instruct and retain to counsel without delay (section 10).
Defective police practices in the arrest, search and processing phase of the investigation can lead to a multitude of Charter of Rights complaints at trial that may ultimately lead to exclusion of the evidence and an acquittal. Finally, It is essential that your lawyer understands and has worked with drug addicts and addiction specialists, and has a network of counsellors and professionals to assist you in putting your best foot forward at trial or on a resolution of your drug charges.