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Michigan Drug Possession Penalties
Drug possession in Michigan is basically to have it physically on a person or for a person to have knowledge of the drug in a position that it is within their ability to control. This means that the drugs do not necessarily have to be on the individual but if it is near enough to them such as they can reach it or control it, or if it is in a home or a car, then the defendant can be found to be in possession of an illegal drug in Michigan. A drug crime conviction carries very serious penalties including jail time and probation.
The possession of drugs is illegal in Michigan based on the belief that drugs are dangerous. By making possession unlawful, the state believes they can effectively control the behavior of the people to keep them from harming themselves or others in the use, obtaining, or selling of the drugs. A Michigan drug possession lawyer can help you build a defense against these sometimes baseless charges. Contact us today to begin building a defense right away.
How Is Drug Possession Defined by MI Lawmakers?It is most common for a person to be found in possession of drugs during a traffic stop. The person is stopped either because they have violated a traffic law or because they are in an area of known drug trafficking and, for some other reason, the police have probable cause to stop the vehicle. Then during the initial police contact, the police may become aware, whether legally or not, that the driver or one of the passengers is in possession of or has recently used drugs.
Another common way people are found to be in possession is the police may be tipped off by a person or confidential informant that drugs are being used or sold at a particular location. In finding out this information, the police can sometimes obtain a warrant to search that location.
Potential Drug Crime Penalties – Felony and MisdemeanorIf a person is in possession of a small amount of drugs, then typically the possession charge will still be brought but the potential penalty and the way the case is handled are much different than if the person is found in possession of a large quantity of drugs.
Penalties will also be dependent on whether the person has a prior record. If they do have a prior record, it is much less likely that the police would let a drug possession charge slide or that the defendant would receive a light sentence. Once the person has a single prior conviction, then they are going to be viewed differently than a first-time offender.
This is particularly true as it relates to things like treatment as an alternative to incarceration. If a person is found simply in possession of drugs as a first-time offense, then the court would be much more interested in considering treatment as an alternative to any other type of punishment or even incarceration.
Finally, under certain circumstances, a person might be eligible for what's called "7411" where they plead guilty but end up with no record. A Michigan drug possession lawyer understands best the nuances of the penalties and how they might apply to your case and circumstances.
Remain Silent During and After Your Arrest for Drug PossessionThe biggest mistake a person can make is to talk too much to the police. They will act as if they know a lot more than they do, try to gain a person's confidence, and encourage the person to disclose things that they might not otherwise be willing to disclose. However, those words will be used against them in the court of law. The best thing to do is, as early as possible, not say anything.
Another big mistake is to try to flee or elude the police. This is a mistake because the individual will be exposing themselves to additional charges.
All of this can be avoided by hiring a drug possession lawyer at the first opportunity. A Michigan possession defense lawyer is highly trained and will know how to protect your interests. A lawyer is also your guard or block to the police. Once you have hired a drug possession lawyer in Michigan, they can't get to you unless they go through the lawyer.