Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MODA) Offences

The Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971 (MODA) is responsible for drug legislation in the UK, including Scotland. MODA covers class A drugs, class B drugs, class C drugs, legal highs, prescription drugs and many other drug offences. Have you been charged with a drugs offence? If so, you must instruct an experienced drug charges lawyer, who has extensive knowledge of this complicated area of criminal law. Sentencing for drug offences can be severe. We have successfully defended many clients who have faced a drug-related offence. Our drug charge lawyers are available to work through Legal Aid so it may not cost you a penny!

Drugs FAQ

A: No, you are more likely to be given a warning by the police and have it confiscated.
A. As soon as you take money from your friends to buy the drugs, you can be charged with being concerned in the supply of drugs, once you obtain possession you can be charged with possession with intent to supply. This is commonly known as social supply.
A: It will depend on how serious the charges are and your financial circumstances. This will be investigated during your free consultation.

These charges can range from relatively minor offences to severe charges that can carry a lengthy prison sentence. The sooner we are instructed, the sooner we can protect your interests. Call a drug charges lawyer now on one of the contact numbers on this website to arrange a free consultation. We will also advise you on whether you qualify for Legal Aid to cover your defence cost.

Types of Illegal Drugs

There are many types of drugs which are illegal to possess or supply to another. Illegal drugs are classified under The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which sets out three separate categories:

Class A drugs

Including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, are deemed the most dangerous. As such class A drugs attract the harshest penalties with up to life imprisonment for supply and production of class A drugs. Sentencing for drug offences for class A drugs are dealt with in the High Court and Sheriff Court In Scotland. Our drug charge lawyers have extensive experience in defending allegations involving class A drugs.

Class B drugs

Including cannabis and amphetamines (speed). Although many people believe cannabis to not be dangerous it is grouped in with class B drugs. This means that the consequences of possessing, supplying and producing class B drugs such as cannabis can be serious. Our drug charge lawyers have worked on 100s of cases resulting in acquittals for many of our clients.

Class C drugs

Including tranquilisers and anabolic steroids, are deemed to be the least dangerous and will be dealt with more leniently by the courts.

There are many more drugs that fall within one of these 3 categories, and more are being added when their misuse and dangers become apparent to the Government.

Legal Highs

Misuse of drugs Act 1971 – Types of Offences


The possession of any controlled substances is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. These charges involve the situation where a person knew or should have known that the substance in his possession was an illegal drug. Being found in possession of a drug is less seriously treated than intent to supply the drug to others.

Possession with intent to supply

Where a person is charged with this, the penalties are much more serious. There is no need to received financial reward to be guilty of this charge and simply passing a joint to a friend is regarded as supplying to another. This type of supply is often referred to as social supply. The supply of drugs to another involves financial gain, which is often referred to as a commercial supply. Obviously, the type and quantity of drugs involved will affect the seriousness of the charge or charges. Our drug charge lawyers will do all they can to try and reduce these charges to lesser charges of possession.

Drug charge lawyers for concerned in the supply of a controlled drug charges

It is possible to be ‘concerned in’ the supply of a controlled drug, even if no drugs are found on your person or in any property occupied by you. This section covers activity that facilitates the supply of a controlled drug such as storing equipment, money or drugs, providing a telephone number of a supplier or customer, or acting as a ‘courier’ for a package of drugs.

Misuse of drugs Act 1971 – The cultivation of cannabis

Production or cultivation of cannabis can also result in serious charges. Much will depend on the production scale and the sophistication of the methods used to grow cannabis. The production scale will determine whether the Crown will also charge you with possession with intent to supply.

Allowing your premises to be used for the production or supplying of illegal drugs

It is a crime to allow premises you occupy or manage to be used to produce or supply controlled drugs. If you rent a property, then it is a defence if you did not know what your tenant was up to.

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 – Drug trafficking charges.  

The illegal importation or smuggling of drugs from one country to another is extremely serious and usually involves large quantities of drugs. A conviction for drug trafficking will usually result in a long prison sentence. Individuals often smuggle smaller quantities through airports and ferry terminals.

Powers of Search

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 gives the police powers of search to obtain evidence if they reasonably believe a person to own controlled drugs. It is an offence to obstruct the police when they exercise their powers of search under the Misuse of Drugs Act. We have successfully defended many cases where the police have carried out drug searches without the necessary suspicion.

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 – Statutory Defence for drug charge lawyers

Section 28 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 offers an accused person a defence, possession of controlled drugs or being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs if he did not know what he had in his possession was a controlled drug.

Sentencing for drug offences in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

See Misuse of Drugs Act: Penalties

Contact our drug charge lawyers without delay.

If you are charged with any drug-related offence, contact us without delay. We have experienced lawyers who can provide the necessary advice and representation to make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. A drug charges lawyer from Graham Walker Solicitors is an expert on drug law, so you stand the best chance of succeeding with us.

Our client was alleged to have facilitated his partner with the smuggling of the Drugs and then using Money Laundering tactics to hide the money in properties in Thailand.

This was the largest ever Cannabis ring prosecuted at the time and in reward of the hard work of our Criminal Lawyers, our client was acquitted after a 3-week trial at Glasgow Sherriff Court

Anon from Glasgow
Anon from Glasgow

I was charged with possession after my wallet was handed into a Police station in Cathcart, Glasgow 3 weeks after I lost it in the street.

Anon from Kilmarnock
Anon from Kilmarnock

Our client was accused with many others, to be involved in a drugs Supply syndicate operating internationally to produce and distribute crystal meth, amphetamines and ecstasy on a large scale.
This case was soaked with covert surveillance and very complex law surrounding the use of covert surveillance.

Anon from Ayr
Anon from Ayr

My Partner and I consider ourselves to have been fortunate to have the benefit of Matthew Berlow’s excellent services. Mr Berlow went the extra mile for us, doing excellent research and keeping us well informed. Thankfully, we have been acquitted and we cannot too highly praise Matthew Berlow enough. We wish to express our appreciation to your firm in securing a happy outcome for us.

Anwar from Glasgow
Anwar from Glasgow