Drug charges in Michigan generally fall into one of four categories: Use, possession, delivery or manufacturing of a drug. Once the drug has been placed into one of those four categories, the type of drug will then determine the severity of punishment for the particular crime if the individual is convicted. There are multiple classification of controlled substances, or drugs.
Generally, Schedule I classifications are the most severe when dealing with a drug charge; however, it is dependent, again, on the act or particular drug charge attached to the individual. A drug charge involving use will generally be least severe if convicted, whereas a conviction of delivering or manufacturing a drug will be the most severe.
For example, a use of marijuana charge is a 90-day misdemeanor, attaching a possible $100 fine, licensing sanction, probationary terms, and other punishments if convicted. See MCL 333.7404(2). Delivering or manufacturing marijuana, if convicted, is a 4-year felony, punishable by fine and/or jail, licensing sanctions, probation, and other possible terms and punishments. See MCL 333.7401(2)(d)(iii). Furthermore, an individual caught with a narcotic drug could face a 20-year felony if convicted, along with other punishments, jail and sanctions. See MCL 333.7401(2)(b). Furthermore, possession of marijuana is a 1-year misdemeanor, attaching fines and/or jail, licensing sanctions, etc. See MCL 333.7403.
Marijuana has been de-regulated with regards to drug charges, meaning that they do not carry general punishments as indicated within the text for that specific Scheduled drug. If you read the language of the statute, it indicates a higher punishment for Schedule I drugs; however, marijuana is an exception to that general sentence. This is similar to the above noted narcotic drugs, which has a higher than noted sentence, and adds to the complexity of drug charges.
If you noticed, there was mention to a licensing sanction, which refers to an individual’s driver’s license, and it is applicable to all drug charges, except a select few. Furthermore, the criminal offense bringing about a drug charge does not have to involve a vehicle, such drunk driving, in order for the licensing sanction to attach. It is automatically performed by the Secretary of State (SOS) once the conviction has been placed on an individual’s record. This become an important part of the criminal justice system and can be avoided in some circumstances, such as for first time offenders, i.e. 7411. Whenever you are arrested, cited, or detained regarding a possible drug charge contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Drug Convictions in Michigan
Drug convictions can impact your life, hinder the ability to obtain a higher education, and take away your ability to drive. Remember, drug charges can also include drunk driving situations, such as OWI, DUI, OWVI charges and convictions. Whenever you are traveling on the road and have consumed an illegal (or even over-the-counter or prescribed) drugs you could be at risk for DUI or OWI charges. With the increase acceptance and use of marijuana and prescription drugs, officer and police departments are keen to detain, charge, and arrest individual’s believed to be operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a drug.
It is worth noting that nothing in the above information speaks to the practical or tactical side to drug charges and cases that follow. There are many possible defenses and avenues that can occur within a drug case, and thus it adds to the necessity to consult with a criminal lawyer in every situation. The right to silence and counsel begin with the individual, the presumption of innocence is taken into the court room, and this maintained by knowing the law, maintain individual rights, and lawyering-up.