prescription drugs spilling

Is It a Crime to Possess Drugs Without a Valid Prescription in Michigan?

Drugs have a plethora of positive uses in medicine, but can also cause tragic addiction. Because of the potential risks when dealing with certain drugs, it is illegal to possess some drugs without a valid prescription. If you are facing charges related to drug possession, contact a Marquette drug possession lawyer for experienced advice and representation.

Is it Illegal to Possess Drugs Not Prescribed to You?

Yes, it is illegal to possess a drug that was not prescribed to you. Michigan state law dictates that a person cannot knowingly possess a controlled substance without it being prescribed and obtained directly from a valid and licensed medical professional. If you are convicted of possessing drugs without a prescription or selling prescription drugs, you can face several life-changing penalties which are discussed below.

What is a Controlled Substance?

A controlled substance is a drug that is strictly regulated by the government because of its potential to harm users. Controlled substances can range from Schedule I to Schedule V and can include opioids, hallucinogens, stimulants, depressants, and more. These drugs have a high potential for abuse or addiction which is why their use is so heavily restricted. Schedule I drugs have the highest abuse risk and have no accepted medical use in the United States. Schedule II drugs also have a high risk for abuse but are widely used and accepted for certain medical conditions across the country.

Government bodies regulate how these drugs are manufactured, their use, storage, and distribution. The following is a list of some controlled substances that require a valid prescription and their common brand names.

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Methamphetamine (Desoxyn)

Will I Go to Jail for Possession of Drugs Without a Prescription in MI?

Because of the dangerous nature of these drugs, the penalties if you are convicted can be quite severe. It is important to note that the specific circumstances of your case will determine the actual outcome of your penalties. A court may be lenient or more strict depending on the details of your situation. You also may face probation, mandatory community service, mandatory rehabilitation or drug classes, and additional fees. A conviction will also result in a criminal record. A criminal record can be detrimental in many ways, making it difficult to maintain your job, obtain employment, rent an apartment or house, and even affect your parental rights.

For a controlled substance classified as a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, the following penalties are generally accurate.

Less than 25 grams:

  • Felony
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Prison sentence of up to 4 years

Between 25 and 50 grams:

  • Felony
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Prison sentence of up to 4 years

Between 50 and 450 grams:

  • Felony
  • Fines up to $250,000
  • Prison sentence of up to 20 years

Between 450 and 1,000 grams:

  • Felony
  • Fines up to $500,000
  • Prison sentence of up to 30 years

1,000 grams or more:

  • Felony
  • Fines up to $1,000,000
  • Prison sentence of any amount of years or life
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