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Consequences of a First-Time Drug Offense in Michigan

In the history of American criminal justice, drug offenses have generally been subject to some of the harshest penalties of all criminal charges. The current penal code of Michigan continues this trend. Defendants who are convicted of drug offenses are subject to jail time, fines and court fees, substance abuse counseling, community service, driver’s license suspension, and a host of other sanctions. Even a first offense can carry serious penalties for charges of drug possession.possession defense

If you or a loved one is facing criminal drug charges in Michigan, contact an experienced Flint criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You have constitutional rights which must be protected, and there are often many viable defenses for crimes like drug possession and drug trafficking.

The Criminal Penalties for a First Offense of Drug Possession

The sentencing for Michigan drug offenses is set forth in Section 333.7403 of the Michigan Public Health Code. The sentence a defendant faces is determined by: (1) the type of drug; and (2) the amount of the drug he or she is in possession of.

  • Possession of LSD, peyote, mescaline, DMT, psilocin, psilocybin, or Schedule 5 drugs is a misdemeanor. Defendants may be sentenced to up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2000, or both.
  • Possession of a Schedule 1, 2, 3, 4 drug (other than narcotics or cocaine), or gamma-butyrolactone, is a felony offense. Defendants may be sentenced to up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $2000, or both.
  • Possession of ecstasy, MDMA, or methamphetamine is a felony offense.  Defendants may be sentenced to up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
  • Possession of less than 25 grams of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic, or cocaine, is a felony offense.  Defendants may be sentenced to up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
  • Possession of 25 to 50 grams of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic, or cocaine, is a felony offense.  Defendants may be sentenced to up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
  • Possession of 50 to 450 grams of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic, or cocaine, is a felony offense.  Defendants may be sentenced to up to twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
  • Possession of 450 to 1,000 grams of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic, or cocaine, is a felony offense.  Defendants may be sentenced to up to thirty years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.
  • Possession of 1000 grams or more of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic, or cocaine, is a felony offense.  Defendants may be sentenced to life in prison, a fine of up to $1 million, or both.

The Consequences of a Drug Conviction

Many criminal defendants are painfully unaware of the collateral consequences of a conviction for drug possession - even if it is a first offense. Job prospects are often severely limited after even a misdemeanor drug conviction. Nor are the consequences of a criminal records limited only to job opportunities. Housing, professional licensure, education, welfare benefits, military records, immigration status, the right to serve in public office, and social opportunities can all be limited by the nature of a drug conviction. Civil rights are also revoked automatically after a felony conviction. These include: the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, and the right to possess a firearm.

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