Many prescription drugs are also controlled substances under federal and Michigan law. While they may have accepted medical uses, they also have a potential for abuse and for physical and/or psychological dependency. When taken only as prescribed by a responsible physician, individuals should be able to benefit from the use of certain controlled substances. However, if they are over-prescribed by a doctor or taken too often and contrary to the directions, then the likelihood of dependence and addiction increase.
Unfortunately, instead of an individual receiving the help they need to overcome addiction, they often end up facing criminal charges. When a person who has become dependent on a prescription medication is charged with a Michigan drug offense, they need to work with a drug attorney as soon as possible. Lansing drug lawyer Tiffany DeBruin is ready to defend an individual’s rights in court, and fight for them to receive the treatment they need. Contact DeBruin Law PLLC by calling 517-324-4303.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
Some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs include:
- Opioids- Opioids are strong substances used to treat consistent and pervasive pain, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. They are highly addictive and are related to some controlled substances that have no accepted medical use, such as heroin. Many people who become addicted to prescription opioids move to heroin due to availability and price.
- Depressants- Medications used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders have been abused for decades. These depressants or tranquilizers include Xanax, and Valium.
- Stimulants- Certain amphetamines and methylphenidate, which are typically prescribed to treat ADD and narcolepsy, are used recreationally and abused. These drugs include Adderall and Ritalin.
Michigan Drug Charges
The drug charge an individual faces for possessing, using, or selling a prescription medication that is not theirs depends on the type and amount of the drug(s) in question, in addition to that person’s criminal background. The person will face more serious charges and penalties if they have a criminal record, if they had drugs higher up on the Michigan controlled substances schedule, or if they had a large quantity of one or more illegal drugs.
For use of a controlled substance, the charge is typically a misdemeanor, yet the punishment may vary depending on the type of drug:
- Schedule 1, 2, 3, or 4 drugs other than narcotics or cocaine- Up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $2,000.
- Schedule 5 drugs- Up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $500.
- Marijuana- Up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $100.
Many prescription drugs are in schedules 2 through 5. This makes it common for individuals who are caught with prescription medications that are not theirs to face felony charges, which can be penalized with years in prison. For possession of a controlled substance:
- Schedule 1, 2, 3, or 4 drugs other than narcotics or cocaine- A felony, punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,000.
- Schedule 5 drugs- A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $2,000.
- Marijuana- A misdemeanor, penalized by up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
However, if an individual is found with large quantities of one or more prescription drugs, then they may be charged with possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, also known as drug trafficking. This will be a higher charge that carries with it harsher punishments.
Contact a Michigan Drug Attorney Today
When an individual suffering from drug addiction is charged with a Michigan drug offense, they should contact experienced and skilled local drug attorney Tiffany DeBruin. By working with a criminal defense attorney from DeBruin Law PLLC and fighting the charges, an individual can exonerate themselves in court or obtain an acceptable punishment along with the medical care they need.