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Legal Information/ Legal Briefs

Legal Briefs

Until 2010, these legal briefs provide examples of judgments pertaining to everyday situations. Beginning in 2012, they deal with various topics of general interest, such as rental issues, family law, human rights, civil liability, insurance, dealings between spouses and social aid. They are intended to inform and to prevent undesirable situations.


Legal Briefs 2023

Legal brief
Illegal drugs - when sharing means traffickingThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Sebastian [not his real name], a student with a promising future, went to a party to celebratea friend’s birthday. There was a lot of drinking that evening and the atmosphere was electric. Sebastian hoped the party would go on all night long. Over the course of the evening, he offered to share with his friends five pills containing speed he had brought especially for the event. Sebastian does not use this substance on a regular basis, but sometimes does so on special occasions. Strictly speaking, Sebastian has never bought drugs. Instead, he shares his friends’ drugs. In fact, a few weeks earlier, one of his friends, who is a drug user, had simply given him the five speed pills in question. So, at around 1 a.m., Sebastian gathered his friends together and gave each of them one pill free of charge,which they then agreed to take together.

In hindsight, if Sebastian were asked if he had committed a criminal offence that evening, he would probably reply that he had merely committed the offence of SIMPLE POSSESSION of a prohibited substance, i.e., the five speed pills.

In fact, however, Sebastian clearly committed the offence of  TRAFFICKING in a substance listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (hereinafter the “CDSA”), an indictable offence punishable by a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life.

If confronted with this reality, Sebastian would predictably reply that he does not consider himself to be a “trafficker” or “seller”, since he is obviously not involved, directly or indirectly, in dealing or selling drugs. Moreover, Sebastian would probably add that this was a one-off gesture, specifying that he himself has never bought narcotics and that his very occasionaluse does not impair his social or professional functioning.

These elements, however, do NOT exonerate him from the offence of TRAFFICKING.

Contrary to popular belief, a person who actually GIVES a substance listed in the schedules to the CDSA, for example by sharing that substance with a third party, commits the offence of trafficking. Moreover, the offence is committed even if the prohibited substance is shared at no cost. Finally, the offence is committed even if the person handing over the drugs is not a “trafficker” within the common meaning of the term, and even if this is a one-time gesture.

As for the facts surrounding the situation, whether or not Sebastian had the intention to deal in prohibited drugs is irrelevant. As defined by the CDSA, trafficking covers a wide variety of acts. It means not only to sell drugs, but also “to administer, give, transfer, transport, send or deliver the substance”, regardless of the underlying motive and whether or not there is an intention to make a profit. The provision therefore covers giving a small quantity of drugs to a friend, or trafficking solely to satisfy one’s own consumption needs. Finally, the offence applies equally to a professional drug dealer who sells dangerous substances for profit, as it does to a person who possesses a small quantity of drugs he intends to share with a friend, spouse or fellow addict.

Legal brief *
December  2023
Number  10
Text prepared by   Me Samuel Bérubé de Deus
Update by   CSJ
* The information set out in this document is not a legal interpretation.
The masculine is used to designate persons solely in order to simplify the text.
Act to assist persons who are victims of criminal offences and to facilitate their recovery This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
As she has done almost every day after supper, 15-year-old Kayla heads out to the park near her home to meet up with her friends. That evening, she spots a group of young people who appear to be fighting. As she gets closer, she recognizes Leo, her best friend, who is being beaten up by kids she doe more
Children and Work in QuebecThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
On June 1, 2023, Québec enacted the Act respecting the regulation of work by children. Before this Act came into force, there was no minimum working age in Québec more
Collection agencies are after me. What should I do?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Unfortunately, at some point in your life, you may find yourself in a difficult situation and have trouble meeting your financial obligations. In such a case, it is advisable to make arrangements with your creditors to avoid having them hire a collection agency to collect the sums owed.

Nicole and Raymond have a child, a home and money in their bank account. Are they financially eligible for legal aid?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Nicole and Raymond have been living together for several years. Raymond works at the village hotel as a waiter. Nicole occasionally babysits. They have a combined annual gross income of $45,000. They have only one child. They own a family home worth $110,000, which is fully paid off. They have $6,00 more
Better Access to Legal AidThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
If you need the services of a lawyer and want to check your eligibility for legal aid, youshould know that since December 29, 2022, regulatory changes may simplify the processing of your application.

In fact, if you meet the following conditions, you will no longer have to submit any document
The "grandparent" scam: protecting yourself and your loved onesThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You receive a call from someone claiming to be a lawyer, who informs you that your favourite grandson has been arrested and is currently being held in custody. You are told that you must pay bail of $2,500 before he can be released. The only thing missing is your payment. Someone will come by in the more
HAS or SARPA, which applies to me?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.

The Homologation Assistance Service is intented for parties residing in Quebec who wish, for whatever reason, to modify arrangements pertaining to child custody or access rights or support involving a child or spouse (or more
Assistant to persons of full ageThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You are 80 years old and are still very alert, but you have some difficulties with computers and anything electronic. You also have trouble hearing people on the phone when dealing with suppliers or when trying to get information about your accounts.

The newly adopted Law to better protect
What is an Immediate Protective Measure?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
When the Director of Youth Protection (the “DYP”) accepts a report regarding a child’s situation, he may unilaterally decide to take an immediate protective measure. In fact, the Youth Protection Act1 allows him to take certain measures to ensure the safety of the child for a maximum period of 48 more
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017