A drug possession charge in Michigan can have serious consequences. Many drug possession charges have penalties involving substantial fines and jail sentences, depending on the type of drug and the amount you are charged with possessing.
Even a misdemeanor drug possession conviction with a manageable fine and no jail time can have a major impact on your life. A drug conviction on your permanent record may make it difficult or impossible to find employment or secure housing. College students may find they cannot get approved for certain loans, and professionals could find themselves in danger of losing a professional license.
The Michigan Public Health Code describes the specific penalties for being convicted of drug possession, based on the type of drug involved. Most are felony offenses, with the potential punishments increasing depending on how much of the drug you are alleged to have possessed.
Defending against a drug possession charge
If you find yourself charged with drug possession, it is important to speak with a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. There are several potential defenses to a drug possession charge.
The key to securing a conviction for the prosecution is evidence. Without the required evidence, they cannot prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence is often obtained through searches, and there may be ways to argue the searches were invalid.
Additionally, police officers must follow all legally required steps and procedures when making arrests or proving probable cause. An attorney can thoroughly examine each step of the process that led up to your arrest or charges and determine if anything improper occurred. For example, a police officer who failed to secure a valid search warrant or did not properly administer Miranda rights during an arrest, could cause an entire case to be thrown out.
The prosecutors will likely offer you a plea bargain, which involves a guilty or no-contest plea in exchange for a reduced sentence. It may be tempting to accept a plea bargain to make the charges go away, but the risk of future repercussions is too high. While a plea bargain may be the best choice in some cases, you should determine if there are any valid defenses available first.