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China Drug Crime Defense Lawyer's Introduction to Drug Crime Law

As China drug crime defense lawyer, we understand that knowing the history of China drug law, drug history and policy is very helpful to our criminal defense.

The present globalization of the drug issue has posed a grave menace to human well-being and development. According to data published by the United Nations in 1998, 21 million people worldwide suffered from cocaine or heroin addiction, and another 30 million from the abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants.

On her southwestern border China is adjacent to the "Golden Triangle,"one of the main sources of drugs in the world. Since the late 1970s, the illicit international narcotics tide has constantly invaded China, and criminal drug-related activities touched off by transit drug trafficking have re-emerged. The number of drug addicts has kept rising, drug-related cases have constantly increased, the drug scourge is becoming more serious with each passing day, and the situation is grim for the anti-drug struggle. In 1999, China cracked down 65,000 drug-related criminal cases, and confiscated 5.364 tons of heroin, 1.193 tons of opium, 16.059 tons of crystal methamphetamine (commonly known as "ice''), and some cocaine, MDMA and marijuana.

In 1999, the number of drug-related cases cracked and the total amount of drugs confiscated increased by 2.4 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively, over 1998. The number of drug addicts registered with the public security organs in 1999 was 148,000, a figure which rose to 520,000 in 1995, and to 681,000 in 1999. Now drug addicts account for 0.054 percent of China's total population. Of the drug addicts, those taking heroin make up 71.5 percent, and those under the age of 35 amount to 79.2 percent. By the end of 1999, of a total of 17,316 reported cases of AIDS virus infection, those infected by intravenous injections of drugs made up 72.4 percent. At present, each province, autonomous region, and municipality directly under the Central Government in China suffers from illegal drug-related activities to a certain extent, and China has been turned from a victim of the transit drug trade into a victim of both drug transit and consumption.

 

China Anti-drug and Narcotine law and policy

Understand China anti-drug and nacotiine law and policy is essential for our China criminal defense lawyer to defend drug crime and narcotine crime.

I. Summary

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to face problems of drug production and trafficking, which contribute to its status as an important drug transit country in the international drug trafficking arena. China is a major manufacturer of “dual use” chemicals, primarily used for licit products, but also used for illicit drugs like methamphetamine. Organized crime diverts legitimately manufactured chemicals, especially ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, from large chemical industries throughout China to produce illicit drugs. In addition to domestic drug production problems, China’s proximity to the Golden Triangle, North Korea, and the Golden Crescent facilitates the trafficking of drugs such as heroin and opium. PRC authorities view drug trafficking and abuse as a major threat to China’s national security, economy, and stability. The PRC’s National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC) conducted a new round of the “People’s War against Drugs” in 2009 to maintain an “in-depth and continuous improvement” of controlling drug production and trafficking. The absolute number of seizures of illicit drugs increased over recent years. However, corruption in drug-producing and drug transit regions of China limits what dedicated enforcement officials can accomplish. PRC authorities continue to take steps to integrate China into regional and global counternarcotics efforts, and cooperation with U.S. counternarcotics officials improved over the past year. The PRC is a party to the 1988 United Nations (UN) Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

The NNCC leads the efforts of narcotics control in China and is responsible for the national coordination of drug control activities. The NNCC includes representatives from a range of government ministries. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS), through the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), enforces narcotics control measures. The NCB operates from central headquarters in Beijing and from provincial offices. China Customs Anti Smuggling Bureau also has significant involvement in narcotics control. A signatory to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the PRC takes strong measures against the use and trafficking of narcotics and dangerous drugs.

The PRC government subscribes to “the Four Prohibitions,” which include: 1) disruption of trafficking organizations by attacking the source and stemming the flow of drugs entering China, 2) strict enforcement of all relevant laws and regulations, 3) treatment of drug users by determining root causes of drug use and empowering communities to address their particular drug problems, and 4) actively cooperating with other countries and international drug control organizations. China’s location, geographical size, population, and current economic condition pose obstacles to its ability to adhere to these “Four Prohibitions.” The PRC’s physical proximity to major narcotics producing areas in Asia—Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle, and Southwest Asia’s Golden Crescent—exacerbates its drug trafficking problem. PRC officials recognize the Golden Crescent is a source of increasing amounts of heroin trafficked into western China, particularly into Xinjiang province.

 

China Criminal Procedure Overview

Mainland China has a single criminal procedure legal system. As China criminal defense lawyers, we now introduce China criminal procedure for you.

Chinese criminal procedure is divided into three stages, all of which are exclusively separate from each other. These stages are the investigation, the prosecution, and the trial. The investigation stage of criminal cases is conducted by the police, who at this time detain suspects, direct interrogations, gather evidence, and interview witnesses. During the investigation stage lawyers roles are severely limited, but Criminal Procedure Law states that lawyers are entitled to provide their clients with legal consultation, lodge petitions and complaints, and apply for bail on their clients behalf.

After the investigation stage has been completed, the prosecution procedure begins. At this time, the investigators submit to the Procuratorate the evidence that they have gathered in order for the Procuratorate to decide whether the circumstances of the crime are clear and the evidence reliable. During this stage, the defendant is entitled to legal counsel. However, few lawyers are assigned to the cases of indigent persons and often do not see the point in accessing their clients at such an early stage.

Beginning with the 1996 reforms to the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law, Chinese trials have become increasingly adversarial in nature. These reforms guarantee greater rights to legal representation and include other measures intended to protect the right to a fair trial and to strengthen the role of lawyers. Despite these improvements, Chinese lawyers still are not active players in trials.

 

Advice for foreigners retaining criminal defense lawyers in China

It is helpful during China criminal proceedings to be represented by a lawyer who is familiar with the China criminal law rules of evidence, China criminal law rules of procedure, trial procedure, and the China court system in general. The lawyer should also be familiar with China sentencing procedures, and with the recent Supreme Court rulings which affect sentencing. It helps to have a defense lawyer who is familiar with the China People Attorney's office which is handling the case, and ideally some familiarity with the China investigative agency which spearheaded the investigation.

 

How to find a Chinese criminal defense lawyer in China

Please note that if you have been charged with a criminal offense, or if you believe your civil rights were violated by the police, you will likely benefit from consulting a criminal defense lawyer. You may find this article on "How To Hire A China criminal defense lawyer" to be helpful.

Do I Need A China criminal defense lawyer?
Any person who is facing a criminal charge, no matter how minor, will benefit from consulting a competent China criminal defense lawyer. Even if the lawyer is not retained to provide representation in court, a consultation will help a criminal defendant understand the nature of the charges filed, available defenses, what plea bargains are likely to be offered, and what is likely to happen in the event of conviction.

 
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I am a licensed China lawyer. Most clients are foreign nationals and companies. China Lawyer Blog have associates in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Hainan, Hefei, Wuhan, Xian, Changsha, Xiamen and Hangzhou. Learn More

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This China Lawyer Blog is aiming at providing better knowledge and understanding of Chinese law for foreigners. Should you have any legal issue in China, do not hesitate to contact China Lawyer Blog for consultation. Preliminary consultation is free. Further legal service, however, will be charged in due rate and in due course.

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China Lawyer BLog AuthorPeter Zhu, an experienced China attorney licensed to practice law for more than ten years, the author of this China Lawyer blog, welcomes any enquiry or consultation related to Chinese law.