Law enforcement officers treat drug offenses very seriously. Even if your charges seem minor, the penalties of a conviction could be harsh. Without proper legal representation, you could face steep fines or time in jail. Consulting a Marquette drug lawyer counsel could make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Michigan Public Health Code §333.7403 sets forth the parameters of drug crimes in the state. The severity of a drug possession charge depends on the type and quantity of the substance found by law enforcement.
The federal government ranks drugs as Schedule 1-5 based on the recognized medicinal value, the potential for abuse, and the likelihood of developing dependency. The government considers Schedule 5 drugs the least harmful, and possessing them in quantities that suggest personal use is a misdemeanor. Potential penalties include up to one year of jail time and a fine of no more than $2000.
Possessing many Schedule1-4 drugs is a felony that could lead to up to two years of incarceration and a $2000 fine. However, possessing Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 narcotics or cocaine triggers more serious penalties.
For example, possessing between 25 and 50 grams of heroin, cocaine, or another Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic could trigger a 4-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine. Larger amounts lead to more severe penalties. A local attorney can help defendants understand how these drug classifications affect their case.
Prosecutors might bring drug trafficking charges against an individual under many different circumstances. Trafficking charges are possible if the police suspect a person of manufacturing or creating drugs for illegal sale.
Authorities might also lodge trafficking charges against someone suspected of delivering or possessing drugs with the intent of manufacturing or delivering them for sale. Anyone in possession of drug manufacturing reagents, chemicals, equipment, or property used for drug manufacturing could face this type of charge.
The potential penalties depend on the type of substance, but all trafficking charges are felonies. Penalties range from two years in prison if found guilty of trafficking Schedule 5 substances to life imprisonment upon conviction of trafficking 1000 grams of cocaine or a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic.
Factors that could trigger enhanced penalties include:
There is a wide range of potential penalties for most drug trafficking crimes. A skilled drug defense attorney could negotiate a sentence at the low end of the spectrum in a particular case.
Drug possession and trafficking crimes require knowledge and intent. The prosecutor must prove that the defendant knew:
Proving what a person knows requires compelling circumstantial evidence. A Marquette lawyer familiar with controlled substance charges could probe the prosecutor’s evidence to expose weaknesses in their case.
Prosecutors cannot use any evidence the police gathered while violating a suspect’s rights. The Fourth Amendment protects suspects from unreasonable searches and seizures of property.
Illegal traffic stops occasionally lead to drug charges. An experienced advocate could review a specific situation and assert a defendant’s Constitutional rights in a drug case. These actions could lead to suppression of evidence and even dismissal of charges.
A guilty plea to drug charges or a conviction after a trial could lead to prison, substantial fines, and a record that will follow you for the rest of your life. However, you could avoid some of these brutal consequences with the right legal representation.
If you are arrested on charges related to controlled substances, call a Marquette drug lawyer immediately. Our firm could help you preserve your future.