Last updated on April 15, 2017

What Are The Penalties For A Drug Charge In Michigan?

Are There Any Punishments Or Charges That Can Be Brought Against You For Drug Paraphernalia?

Yes. When talking about either obvious paraphernalia or perhaps legal household items, it’s interesting because even though it’s legal to buy these types of drug paraphernalia, when the police find it on a person and associate it with the use of the illegal drugs, they can charge people with possession of drug paraphernalia for having a syringe or having a pipe and things like that.

So, it is a crime in Michigan. Typically, it’s a 93-day misdemeanor.

What Are The Laws Surrounding Either Forging A Drug Prescription Or Possessing Someone Else’s Narcotics?

Possessing somebody else’s narcotics is just a straight possession. They’re not yours, you’re not in a valid prescription, so it’s a possession charge. A possible defense in these cases is you were just transporting it but it wasn’t with the intent to possess it for yourself, that may present a case where you could defend yourself and possibly beat that case at a trial.

However, with regard to falsifying prescriptions or forging prescriptions, that’s a felony and those are cases that the prosecutors like to prosecute because they like to keep a tight grip on the prescription drug business.

Are Penalties Heavier If Minors Are Involved?

There are some laws pertaining to certain types of drug trafficking within a school zone and if the person who is involved happens to be a student also, they face the potential of expulsion from the school district. That can be a secondary factor that can really make things difficult because if you get expelled from one school, you may be barred from enrolling in a different public school.

Those are the kinds of factors that could affect how serious the punishment is because the judge is not going to be too happy about somebody selling drugs in or around the school that is in their jurisdiction. So, those are the type of inflammatory fact patterns that can lead to more stiff punishment if you’re convicted and if you don’t handle things properly.

Are There Alternative Sentencing Programs In Michigan For Drug Offenders?

Yes, there are and they vary from place to place and how old the person is and other factors. One thing that can be used even for a lot of potentially serious crimes is what’s called the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. That is a program for youthful offenders, typically people under the age of 21 who get in trouble.

The court can sometimes approve with the prosecutor’s consent allowing someone to participate under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, called HYTA, between the ages of 21 and 25. If the person is granted HYTA status, their criminal conviction becomes non-public and upon the successful completion of probation, the case can be dismissed and they won’t have a conviction on their record.

That’s an outstanding opportunity for a lot of people. It does not prevent you from going to jail if the judge wants to send you to jail first but it is, nonetheless, an outstanding opportunity if you’d otherwise just end up with a felony or a misdemeanor conviction.

There are also some particular programs that are available under the health code that allow first time drug possession offenders to have a case taken on what is called ‘under advisement.’ The same thing happens if they successfully complete probation, the case gets dismissed and they don’t have a conviction on their record and they don’t end up with the driver’s license consequences that usually follow on most possession convictions as well.

Other than that, from court to court, there are sometimes first offender or delayed sentence opportunities that can help keep something off their record or get reduced at the end of the term. For all those programs that are available, there are different situations where they apply and don’t apply and typically those types of opportunities are granted to people who don’t have a lot of things already on their records.

In all the situations, you want to work with your attorney to make sure what options exist for you.

Read about the Penalties Of A Drug Charge In Michigan, or call the law office of Attorney Paul Tafelski for a free initial consultation at (248) 451-2200 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

Posted in: Drug Crimes
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