If you have or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime in Michigan, it is vital that you contact an aggressive and experienced defense attorney immediately. It is also crucial that you consult an attorney that has a proven record of winning drug crime cases. Contact The David J. Kramer Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation.
Michigan’s War on Drugs
America’s war on drugs has now been going on, in some states, for almost 40 years. Typical penalties include mandatory minimum sentences of life in prison without parole for certain first-time offenders. The so-called “650 Lifer Law” was one such law in Michigan.
Consequently, the population of low-level and non-violent drug offenders in the prison system skyrocketed in the years following 1978. Many of those harsh mandatory sentencing laws have started to be changed in Michigan since 2004. However, some of the changes are just beginning to take effect in 2018. Drug charges are still very far-reaching, and the potential for facing a harsh sentence is still high.
Drug Crimes and Charges in Michigan
In the Michigan penal code, there are multiple drug offenses with which you could be charged. Generally, these charges fall under one of three categories:
People usually think of this law as referring to having an illegal substance on their person. These drugs include a small amount of cocaine, marijuana or heroin. However, you do not have to have the drug on your person in order to be arrested for drug possession. Possession refers merely to drugs found in any area over which you have a reasonable amount of control – your car, your dorm room, your locker, or your office.
You do not have to be running a big drug production crime ring to be charged with manufacturing or cultivating a controlled substance. Growing marijuana or cultivating cannabis seed without a license could result in this charge. This would the production of methamphetamines or cocaine in a home lab.
Trafficking & Distribution
These two terms are distinct, even though they seem like the same thing. Drug trafficking doesn’t involve the movement of drugs from one place or person to another, merely the amount, or weight of the substance involved. Distribution refers to furnishing, selling or delivering a controlled substance.
Drug Schedules in Michigan Determine Sentencing
The most significant factor, after the type of drug crime, which will determine your charges, is the type of controlled substance involved. Michigan classes all controlled substances into 5 categories, depending on their medical uses – if there are any – and their propensity to cause substance abusive behavior. Schedule I controlled substances rate the most serious, and are penalized accordingly. In addition, Schedule V controlled substances are considered the least serious.
Schedule I Classified Drugs in Michigan
The Michigan Public Health Code categorizes the following controlled substances as Schedule I for not being considered by the United States as having and for having a high potential for abuse:
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
The laws in the State of Michigan regarding marijuana can be confusing. Additionally, marijuana laws are enforced differently depending on what county you are in. Although medical marijuana does have accepted medical uses, the regulation of medical marijuana in Michigan is still in the process of being regulated.
In addition, you must have the proper license for possession, manufacture or distribution of marijuana if you want to escape criminal prosecution.
Attorney David J. Kramer strives to keep clients and readers informed of the latest information regarding changing medical marijuana laws in Michigan.
Schedule II Classified Drugs in Michigan
Schedule II classified drugs in Michigan are controlled substances which do have currently accepted medical uses in the United States. However, with severe restrictions. These substances are categorized as having a high potential for abuse, and they are as follows:
- High potency Morphine
- Medical marijuana
To see a full list of Schedule II controlled substances, you may read it here in the Michigan State Legislature.
Schedule III Classified Drugs in Michigan
- The criteria for Schedule III controlled substances are as follows:
- Schedule III controlled substances have a smaller potential for abuse than Schedule I or II
- An accepted medical use for these drugs exists in the United States
- Abuse of the substance leads to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
- Low potency Morphine
- Anabolic Steroids
- Codeine mixtures
Here is the full list of Schedule III controlled substances.
Schedule IV Classified Drugs in Michigan
Here are the criteria for Schedule IV classification in Michigan:
- It has a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III controlled substances
- An accepted medical use for these drugs exists in the United States
- Abuse of the substances may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence compared to those in Schedule III
- Schedule IV controlled substances include the following:
- Any drug containing any quantity of stimulant to the central nervous system
Complete list of Schedule IV controlled substances in Michigan
Schedule V Classified Drugs In Michigan
Here are the criteria for Schedule V classification in Michigan:
- Have a low potential for abuse compared to Schedule IV narcotics
- Have a currently accepted medical treatment purpose in the United States
- A limited risk of dependence relative to Schedule IV
- Mixtures containing codeine
- Mixtures containing ephedrine
- Any mixtures containing opium
Severe Penalties for Schedule I or II Drug Crimes in Michigan
Because any drug crime related to Schedule I or II drugs in Michigan is considered a serious offense, it can have an enormous impact on your future.
This is why Attorney David J. Kramer will work to defend your rights in court aggressively. He will seek to get your charges thrown out, work toward an acquittal at trial, or work with the judge to get you the lowest possible sentence.
The amount of any Schedule I or II substance in your possession has a great deal to do with the sentencing, the penalties for possession are as follows:
- 1,000 grams or more of a Schedule I or II controlled substance is a felony. Penalties include a term of up to life in prison and fines of up to $1 million.
- 450-1,000 grams of a Schedule I or II controlled substance is a felony. Penalties include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
- 50-450 grams of a Schedule I or II controlled substance is a felony. Penalties include up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
- 25-50 grams of a Schedule I or II controlled substance is a felony. Penalties include a term of up to 4 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
- Possession of Ecstasy or Meth in any amount carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Fines may be added for up to $15,000 in Michigan
- Possession of Marijuana in any amount carries a penalty of up to 1 year in prison and fines of up to $2,000.
2 more years could be added to your sentence if you are found in a public park with these substances
Manufacturing, Trafficking & Distribution Penalties
If you are found with a significant amount of a controlled substance in your possession, it’s much more likely that law enforcement will try to prove you had the intent to distribute the drug.
Drug Trafficking and Distribution charges are much more complicated and often involve Federal charges as well as state charges. Penalties for Distribution and Trafficking can be much more severe than possession charges – from 3 years in prison to a life sentence.
While repeat offenders do routinely receive mandatory life sentences in Michigan, if you are a first-time drug offender, there is a good chance a judge will suspend your sentence for a term of probation. You may still keep the charge off of your record if you can successfully follow the terms of your probation.
In addition, several alternative sentencing programs exist in the State of Michigan.
SAI, Special Alternative Incarceration, is a program for the lucky few. It’s a program similar to boot camp for drug offenders. It’s coupled with substance abuse treatment and ends with a probationary period in the community.
Probation is granted to first-time offenders on a case by case basis and at the judge’s discretion. The judge must feel that the offender is unlikely to re-offend and the offense must be a non-violent offense. Terms of probation often include counseling, community service, house arrest, electronic monitoring, and rehab programs
Holmes Youthful Trainee Act
The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act is a form of deferred sentencing specifically for offenders under the age of 24 and at least 17 to qualify.
7411 is another deferred sentencing act specifically for drug crimes. It allows a probationary period prior to sentencing. If the offender can follow the terms of probation successfully, the judge can dismiss the charges at the end of the period.
Call Today for a Drug Crime Defense Attorney With Proven Results
Attorney David J. Kramer has been described by one of his clients as “a warrior in court and won’t stop fighting until he gets you what you want!“
He will work diligently defend your rights and to use every form of alternative sentencing in your case that works to your favor.
Let’s start fighting!