Have you been arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana in Lansing? Contact a local marijuana trafficking lawyer to discuss the details and your next steps.
While recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Michigan, marijuana trafficking is a crime. A marijuana trafficking conviction still means severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines and a criminal record.
ATTENTION: DeBruin Law, PLLC does not represent business owners in the cannabis industry. Our services are reserved for medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers.
What Is Marijuana Trafficking?
Marijuana trafficking describes dealing or selling marijuana and growing more than recreational cannabis plants permitted by law.
Under Section 333.7401 of the Michigan Public Health Code, marijuana trafficking includes:
- Cultivating marijuana plants
- Manufacturing or processing marijuana
- Delivery of marijuana
- Selling marijuana
- Possession with intent to sell or deliver
A marijuana trafficking defense lawyer may be able to have the charges reduced or dropped, or prepare a strong defense at trial.
Defending Marijuana Trafficking Charges
A marijuana trafficking charge in Lansing, Michigan, has the potential to ruin your entire life. You could lose your job, your college aid and your freedom. A skilled attorney by your side gives you a chance to defend yourself, clear your name and move on with your life.
Several defenses to marijuana trafficking are available, depending on your case.
Defenses To Marijuana Trafficking Charges
Marijuana trafficking cases often begin with a police search of you, your car or your home. You have certain constitutional rights for search and seizure. The police often make mistakes that might have violated your rights and can make the charges against you illegal.
Common mistakes include:
- Searching your property without a warrant
- Exceeding the limits of a valid search warrant
- Using an invalid warrant not supported by probable cause
- Using illegal wiretapping or surveillance to obtain evidence against you
An experienced drug defense attorney in Michigan can attack procedural or constitutional errors and argue for the evidence to be suppressed. Without crucial evidence, the prosecution may be more willing to plea bargain or even drop the charges.
Penalties For Marijuana Trafficking In Michigan
Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan since 2008. In 2018, voters passed new laws allowing adults to possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
Nonetheless, marijuana trafficking remains a serious felony crime, both in state and federal court. A conviction for marijuana trafficking has severe statutory penalties and other lifelong consequences.
Depending on the amount trafficked and other factors, a marijuana trafficking conviction could mean:
- Incarceration for up to 15 years
- Fines of up to $10 million
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- A permanent felony record as a drug dealer
- Loss of college financial aid
- Loss of your medical marijuana card, if applicable
- Difficulty finding employment
- Difficulty securing housing
- Loss of your professional license
- Loss of green card or immigration visa if you are not a citizen; you could be denied citizenship or face deportation.
Marijuana trafficking charges require the help of an experienced Michigan drug defense lawyer. While attorney DeBruin cannot guarantee the outcome of your case, she has successfully defended clients against drug trafficking charges.
She might be able to arrange a plea bargain, seek dismissal on procedural or evidence errors, or build a solid defense to try your case in court.
Marijuana Sentencing Guidelines
Judges in Michigan have flexibility in sentencing guidelines. A recent Michigan Supreme Court decision gives judges the authority to determine the penalties for a conviction. The penalties for your marijuana trafficking may be different from those listed here.
A skilled Michigan criminal defense lawyer can explain the possible outcomes of your specific charge.
Driver’s License Suspension For Marijuana Trafficking
In Michigan, the Secretary of State’s Office suspends your driver’s license upon conviction of marijuana cultivation, sales, manufacturing, processing, delivery, or possession with the intent to sell or deliver. The duration of your driver’s license suspension depends on whether you have any prior convictions for drug charges.
You may be able to get a restricted driver’s license, but you’ll have to serve some portion of your suspension first.
- 1st offense: A 1st drug conviction requires a six-month driver’s license suspension. You may be able to get a restricted driver’s license once you’ve served 30 days of your suspension.
- 2nd or subsequent offense in seven years: A 2nd or subsequent drug conviction within seven years requires a one-year driver’s license suspension. You may be able to get a restricted driver’s license once you’ve served 60 days of your suspension.
Medical Marijuana And Marijuana Trafficking
Michigan’s medical marijuana law allows patients and caregivers to possess or cultivate limited amounts of marijuana for treatment purposes.
Under Section 333.26424 of the Michigan Public Health Code, qualified and registered medical marijuana users may:
- Possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana per qualified patient
- Grow up to 12 cannabis plants per patient in an enclosed, locked facility
A primary caregiver also is allowed to receive compensation for the actual cost of assisting a registered medical marijuana patient in obtaining the drug for treatment purposes.
Exceeding Permissible Limits
It’s also important to understand that if police and prosecutors allege that you possessed or cultivated more than the allowable amount of marijuana, you may be arrested. If you’re convicted, you face penalties for the trafficking charge as well as additional penalties for violating the medical marijuana law.
Those may include:
- Up to two years in prison
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Revocation of your medical marijuana card
If you’re a medical marijuana patient or caregiver charged with marijuana trafficking, get help from a Michigan criminal defense attorney. A skilled drug defense attorney can determine if your status as a medical marijuana patient or caregiver offers you legal protections.
Michigan Marijuana Laws
Medical marijuana laws were passed in 2008. In 2018, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act was passed. The Act authorized adults 21 years of age and older to possess and use specific amounts of marijuana.
Under the law, recreational users may cultivate 12 plants inside their homes. There is no limit to the amount you can possess for homegrown marijuana. However, purchases from medical marijuana dispensaries are restricted. You may possess up to 15 grams of concentrates or two and a half ounces of cannabis flower each day.
If you have more than the legally allowed amount of cannabis in your possession, you could face serious criminal charges. These charges escalate depending on the amount of cannabis you are carrying.
How Marijuana Dispensaries Operate In Michigan
Marijuana dispensaries in Michigan can provide a wide range of cannabis products to consumers. Some of the more common types of products sold at marijuana dispensaries include:
- Infused products
The type of product you are purchasing will determine how much you may purchase at one time. The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency oversees marijuana business licensing rules and regulations.
You will also need to comply with tracking, reporting, and inventory requirements to protect yourself and your business. Failure to comply with these regulations, depending on the amount of marijuana you might have in your possession, could result in marijuana trafficking charges.
Contact A Marijuana Trafficking Lawyer In Lansing
Are you facing marijuana trafficking charges? A qualified Lansing criminal defense attorney can explain your options and what kind of outcome you may be able to expect.