You’re likely familiar with some of the legal consequences of a conviction on drug charges in Michigan. For possession of drugs listed at the lower levels of the state’s drug schedule system, such as certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs, you could be facing misdemeanor charges. Your sentence may carry up to a year in prison and maximum fine of $2,000. Possession of controlled substances designated as more serious under Michigan law, including marijuana, heroin, and cocaine, may lead to felony charges. Your sentence may be two years or more in prison and hefty fines. However, many people accused of drug charges aren’t aware that there are other consequences of a conviction, beyond jail, probation, and fines. When you consider the additional implications, you can see the importance of retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
Driver’s License Suspension
State law provides that you could lose your driving privileges as a result of a drug-related conviction, even if you weren’t operating a vehicle at the time of your arrest. Your driver’s license is strictly suspended for 30 days, and there are additional restrictions for up to six months for first offense. For second or subsequent offenses the penalties are worse.
A drug conviction means a permanent mark on your criminal record, which will show up any time a person or entity conducts a background check. As a result, you may experience:
- Difficulties with Employment: Some employers will not hire a person with a criminal record, especially a recent history of criminal activity. Plus, you must be able to pass a background check in order to obtain certain professional licenses. If you cannot, you will be unable to work in your chosen occupation.
- Challenges Renting an Apartment: Landlords may also look at your criminal past before entering into an agreement to lease an apartment. A criminal record showing up on your background check may limit your options when renting a place to live.
- Ineligibility for Student Loans: Anyone thinking of borrowing the money to attend college, university, or trade or vocational school can have trouble getting the necessary funds. You may not qualify for federal student loans if you have a drug-related conviction in your criminal history, and even private lenders may find you ineligible for a loan.
Consult with a Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
You’re not just looking at jail time, fines, and probation when you’re convicted on drug possession charges in Michigan. The implications are serious and wide-ranging, and the consequences can impact your life for many years. If you’re facing drug charges, it’s critical to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer right away. An attorney can work with you to develop a strong defense strategy and help you avoid a bleak future. For more information on drug offenses, don’t hesitate to reach out to the law firm of Paul J. Tafelski, P.C. at (248) 451-2200 or via our web site. A member of our legal team can answer your questions at our Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, or Western Wayne County locations.