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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71136
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been charged with produced 9 cannabis plants

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I have been charged with produced 9 cannabis plants
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I got arrested on the 8th november I had put 9 plants in a wood , when the police arrested me they said I'm arresting you with being concerned in the cultivation of cannabis, they searched my house and took 4 phones and found a substance they believed was heroin.Which later turned out to be untrue as was not charged with anything

I was detained at the police station and interviewed.I went no comment all the way I was bailed for 6 weeks then had my bail extended for a further 6 weeks when I answered bail they charged me with produced 9 plants. I ran into a member of the public at the start of October visiting plants he recorded my number plate and alerted police. The police or this individual set up a camera and they photographed me spraying plants with a spray bottle, the plants were left in the forest and I did not go past the act of cultivation I want to represent myself with the help of a McKenzie fried and plead not guilty.

I have a previous conviction for being concerned in the cultivation of cannabis which was in sept 2008

What is your question about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

should i plead guilty or not do they have a strong enough case to convict me

Well, obviously I will not know that. I have had no vision of the evidence. Your solicitor will be best placed to advise.
The only issue that I can see immediately is that they might have issues proving that these plants were under your control if they were not found in your house or otherwise in your possession.
I wouldn't go around entering pleas to serious offences like cultivation though without proper informed advice.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not likely to qualify for legal aid as I own 3 properties what will the fees be for legal representation in the magistrates court should I seek a different solicitor than the one I had at police station as I admitted to putting plants in forest to him at police station

You will be asked for a contribution to legal aid. That sum will depend on your situation. Actually not everybody who owns property necessarily does contribute. Some do not have equity.
It is a shame that you admitted to control over the plants. That isn't cultivation necessarily. It depends what you have admitted doing with the plants.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I only admitted to solicitor during a chat that I did not want the plants in the house from this he assumed I planted and admitted tending.

I think it best to change solicitors and have a fresh start he seems to think because I have 'previous they may send to crown for sentencing.

The guidelines are discharge to med community order for cat 4 9 plants.

I do not want to plead guilty to production because its a trafficking offence and could start a poca

If that is the truth then you cannot deny it. That won't be helped by changing solicitors.
If you haven't admitted it to the police then you can still put them to proof.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

what happens when you go to magistrates court do you have to enter a plea will my current solicitors fight the case after I admitted putting plants there.

I do not want a conviction if I can help it because will affect getting insurance and I want to train to be a driving instructor

You can refuse to indicate for the first appearance but you do have to enter a plea in the end.
You cannot lie in the course of a criminal trial but you can put the Crown to proof perfectly ethically.
It probably won't affect insurance but I am afraid you will be CRB checked if you are a driving instructor and this will show.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

how has the cps brought these charges I think its best i go with a new solicitor

I would imagine because they think they can prove it against you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

if I pay privately for my brief can I claim legal aid later. my appearance is on the 18th feb what will happen on that day please

Yes, but it will be backdated.
You can refuse to indicate for the first appearance but you do have to enter a plea in the end.
If you plead then it will adjourn off for a pre sentence report. If you plead not guilty it will be adjourned off for trial.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

am i risking a custodial sentence buy going to trail my solicitor said the police believe I was growing cannabis with a view to supplying others and they will be interrogating my phones for any drug related texts sent or received they did not find any so did not get charged with supply or intent to supply.

Is my conviction 6 years ago for concerned in production of cannabis an aggravating factor that can move me outside the range of cat 4 lesser role ranging from discharge to medium community order .

Yes, cultivation is a serious offence. Your conviction is aggravating. It is quite old I suppose but it would be considered.
Credit for a guilty plea is all very well but it is obviously not as good as being acquitted. If the evidence is overwhelming then you should plead guilty. If it is not then you should not.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

how long will the trail last ,unfortunatly my mum has passed away recently and I am in charge of a farm and I cannot risk a custodial sentence, there should not be any evidence on my phones but there may be a witness statement of seeing me and my van at the place where plants were found the police then say the same witness set up a camera and caught me tending to plants this is the disclosure that was given to my solicitor

It depends on the evidence. I haven't had vision of that obviously. They have to prove that these plants were under your command which could be very simple or very difficult. It depends on their evidence.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thats why they took my phones with the absence of any drug related text messages or anything directly related to the plants in the woods it will be difficult.

Also no plants or cannabis were found at my house. this will be my last question for tonight thanks for your help

They will have taken your phone to see if they can find evidence of supply. If they will not then that is nothing to worry about.
Obviously I have not had vision of this case but it would seem to me that if they cannot prove these plants were under your control then there is no case.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My solicitor said I should plead guilty to cultivation for personal use, there was a spray bottle I had left at the scene that may have my dna on it, and they have captured me on film watering plants with spray bottle this makes me guilty of the act of cultivation.

The prosecution also will not accept it was for personal use as they found single deal bags in my house no scales or cash though. If I go to trail they will be pushing for production with intent to supply which I cannot risk getting convicted of,

There are a few mitagating factors I have a mental health problem and it was an isolated offence I have also taken steps to address offending and drug use

You can always offer a plea on that basis and have a Newton hearing.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

in magistrates court, I would like to pay privately for my legal representation how much will it cost are you a uk based lawyer. Think I am only facing a community order for an early guilty plea

I am based in the UK. I'm afraid a community order is not likely unless they accept your basis.
The cost will depend on the case. A plea and mitigation alone would probably only be about £500 for a barrister under public access. If it is elongated into a Newton hearing or a second hearing for sentence then that will increase.
A solicitor will probably charge more than that.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is'nt 9 plants cat 4 offence I want to represent myself and just enter a plea of guilty to production for personal use

Yes, but the issue here is that they say supply.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have not been charged with supply or intent to supply and there is no evidence of supply

If I just go to mags court and plead guilty for personal use the court will send me for pre sentence report

Yes, they probably will order a report.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It will be difficult for them to prove supply as plants were left unharvested until November the 1st I visited plants that day and noticed a woman on a bike and car pulled over think as I cycled to grow site I was being watched so they may have evidence.

That is probably something only your solicitor can comment upon.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

am due in court on the 18th will he have the case papers before court

If that is the first appearance then they will hand them to you on the morning if court.