Month: December 2020

Is Cannabis legal in Scotland?

The debate surrounding the possible legalisation of cannabis is growing (pardon the pun).

Judging by the evidence and data collected from all over the world regarding the potential medical benefits and not to mention the economic benefit that some countries have recorded, it would seem that opinion is tending to lean in favour of cannabis legalisation

A growing number of politicians and celebrities are coming out in favour of legalisation of cannabis. Many countries are now relaxing their strict drug laws as public opinion shifts.

However, as specialist Scottish drug lawyers here to advise you 24/7/365 we are primarily concerned with the drug laws of Scotland.

The law concerning cannabis is common throughout the UK and is regulated by The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

CANNABIS IS ILLEGAL THROUGHOUT THE UK

Across the UK, there are three classes of illicit substances. Class A, B and C. Cannabis is a Class B category in Scotland, alongside other substances such as speed, ketamine, and some versions of codeine which all also sit in the Class B category.

If you are charged with possession or possession with intent to supply or being concerned in the supply of Cannabis or cultivation of cannabis, then do not delay in contacting our specialist team of cannabis lawyers. We have a great wealth of experience in drug cases in Scotland and will help you achieve the best possible result in your case.

Cannabis is Scotland’s most widely used illegal drug. Polls have shown that around 47% of people living in Scotland supported cannabis legalization, 37% were against legalization and the remaining 17% were uncertain.

It would seem by the crime recording figures that recently the Police have a more relaxed approach to cannabis in Scotland with around five hundred people a month found to be in possession of cannabis and who face no consequences. Where quantities are larger and other factors come into play and supply is suspected, then prosecution is more likely.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Scotland?

Medicinal marijuana was made legal in November 2018.

The legalization occurred in November 2018 after several high profile cases involving children with medical issues.

Only in exceptional circumstances will cannabis be prescribed by doctors in Scotland and stating that you take cannabis for medical reasons without a prescription will not be a defence.

Is CBD Legal in Scotland?

CBD is a compound found within cannabis plants (Cannabidiol), and due to the low quantity of THC in it, it is legal in Scotland provided it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved. If you’re in Scotland, you can buy CBD products provided the level of THC is below 0.2 per cent.

Section 3 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009

Important legislation for sexual assault in Scotland

Sexual assault is:

If a person (“A”)—

(a)without another person (“B”) consenting, and

(b)without any reasonable belief that B consents,

does any of the things mentioned in subsection (2), then A commits an offence, to be known as the offence of sexual assault.

(2)Those things are, that A—

(a)penetrates sexually, by any means and to any extent, either intending to do so or reckless as to whether there is penetration, the vagina, anus or mouth of B,

(b)intentionally or recklessly touches B sexually,

(c)engages in any other form of sexual activity in which A, intentionally or recklessly, has physical contact (whether bodily contact or contact by means of an implement and whether or not through clothing) with B,

(d)intentionally or recklessly ejaculates semen onto B,

(e)intentionally or recklessly emits urine or saliva onto B sexually.

(3)For the purposes of paragraph (a) of subsection (2), penetration is a continuing act from entry until withdrawal of whatever is intruded; but this subsection is subject to subsection (4).

(4)In a case where penetration is initially consented to but at some point of time the consent is withdrawn, subsection (3) is to be construed as if the reference in it to a continuing act from entry were a reference to a continuing act from that point of time.

(5)Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a) of subsection (2), the reference in the paragraph to penetration by any means is to be construed as including a reference to penetration with A’s penis

If you have been accused of sexual assault, contact our lawyers today.

Consequences of having a criminal record

 

The consequences of having a criminal record can be severe. Depending on the offence, it would likely impact employment, volunteering, travel, education, housing, public office, driving (particularly driving offences). With such an impact on everyday life and future possibilities finding the best criminal defence lawyer is essential. At Graham Walker Solicitors, we are aware of the impact a criminal record can have. This is why we have specialist lawyers in each practice area to ensure you receive the best care. 

Employment opportunities

Your criminal record must be disclosed to employers until that conviction is spent. This can last several years after your imprisonment. You may have to undergo a DBS check for some jobs, especially when the job involves children or vulnerable people. Lying about your criminal record can land you in more trouble. Volunteering opportunities may also be limited if they are to do with children or vulnerable people. Explaining some details around your crime may lead to a more sympathetic approach; it is best to be transparent.

Employers are allowed to discriminate against applicants with an unspent criminal conviction no matter what the conviction is. Getting a lawyer who can fight your case is, therefore, the highest importance when you are facing an allegation of any crime.

Housing

Depending on the conviction, you may be evicted from your rented property. Mortgage providers also require a DBS check which must be complied with. If convicted of a sexual crime involving children, then you cannot live near schools or playgrounds.

Education

Some convictions will prohibit some educational opportunities being followed. Depending on the offence, programmes involving health and social care or children may be limited. Clear policies on criminal convictions are usually listed on an educational establishments website, if not contact them by email.

Travel

Some countries may bar you from entering, depending on your criminal record. If you ever have plans to travel to a destination and you have a criminal record, it is best to check if you are eligible for travel.

Driving

Driving offences lead to higher insurance costs, which can make driving unaffordable for many. If you lose your license, then driving is not an option at all.

Call a criminal defence lawyer today

if you are facing an allegation of a criminal offence, you should contact us immediately. At Graham Walker Solicitors, our specialist lawyers will give you the defence you deserve and allow your future to be full of possibilities. You may be entitled to Scottish legal aid throughout criminal proceedings. This will give you the opportunity to potentially have expert criminal defence lawyers for free. Talk to us and we’ll explain your options.

Rehabilitation of Offenders

Rehabilitation of offenders is one of the core aims of the justice process in Scotland.

Rehabilitation of Offenders FAQ

A: The length of time you have to disclose a criminal conviction to employers and other organisations depends on the length of sentencing. A criminal sentence of 12 months or less will need to be disclosed for the duration of the sentence plus 2 years. Whereas a sentence of 4 years or more must always be disclosed until your situation is reviewed.
A: One of the major contributors to re-offending is gaining employment. One of the major barriers to gaining employment is not having a criminal record. An expert criminal defence lawyer can help reduce or even have charges acquitted. This can help you gain employment and leave crime in the past.

The debate around whether imprisonment for less severe offences is useful in this process has raged for decades. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 sets out when a conviction no longer has to be disclosed to employers. It is this legislation that has become the driving force for change. It is estimated that a third of men in Scotland and one in ten women in Scotland have one or more criminal convictions. With many becoming re-offenders once released.

Unemployment and reoffending

One of the strongest links to reoffending is whether a person can gain employment after their release. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 determines when convictions are ‘spent’; meaning a person is treated as they had not committed the offence. The Scottish Government have recently introduced the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act 2019, which aims to remove barriers to gaining employment after a conviction. A custodial sentence not exceeding 12 months now only has to be disclosed for the duration of the sentence plus 2 additional years. This is in stark contrast to before this act was introduced where an adult (over 18 ) imprisoned for 6 – 30 months, would have to disclose to employers their criminal record for the next 10 years. This has had a hugely detrimental effect on offenders’ ability to gain employment which has led to reoffending. 

Criminal defence lawyer Scotland

Crimes that result in imprisonment over 48 months are excluded sentences. This means they will not become spent after a certain amount of time. Instead, a review process will be put in place to determine how long an offender must disclose these convictions.

This is why having expert lawyers is important. A criminal defence lawyer that can reduce your imprisonment or win an acquittal will significantly benefit your chances of putting a criminal past behind you. In particular, avoiding a sentence that is 48 months or longer is crucial in allowing rehabilitation of offenders to take place. 

Legal aid Scotland

Scottish legal aid is available to people charged with a crime. At Graham Walker Solicitors we are members of the Scottish legal aid board. This means you can get the best representation, and you may not have to pay a penny. Please speak to us about what your options are.