Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower Michigan.

Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower michigan.

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Possession Of Schedule III, IV, V Drugs

If you’ve been charged with possession of a controlled substance, it’s important to contact an experienced Lansing drug possession attorney as soon as possible. Substances classified as Schedule III, IV and V have increasingly lower risks of addiction and more accepted medical uses; therefore, possession of these substances is punished less severely than possession of substances classified as Schedule I or II. Even so, possession of any controlled substance is a serious crime that could result in jail time, stiff fines and other consequences.

In Michigan, controlled substances are classified via a scheduling system. Schedule I substances are those with no medically accepted uses and that have the highest risk of addiction. Schedule II substances have an equally high risk of addiction but have some medically accepted uses. Schedule III substances have a lower risk of addiction and more medically accepted use than drugs classified as Schedule I or II, and so on down the line with Schedule IV and V substances.

Drug use and abuse is a serious public health concern in this country, and Michigan is no exception. That’s why drug crimes, including possession of controlled substances, are routinely enforced and vigorously prosecuted by Michigan law enforcement and courts.

Michigan Law

According to section 333.7403 of the Michigan Public Health Code, it is illegal to “knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance, a controlled substance analog, or a prescription form unless the controlled substance, controlled substance analog, or prescription form was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription.”

In Michigan, controlled substances are organized by the following schedule (the list is not all inclusive):

  • Schedule I: Ecstasy, marijuana, LSD, GHB, heroin
  • Schedule II: Oxycodone, morphine, methamphetamine, hydrocodone, cocaine
  • Schedule III: Hydrocodone mixed with aspirin, ketamine, lower dose morphine
  • Schedule IV: Valium, Xanax, Ambien, Ativan, Tramadol
  • Schedule V: Over-the-counter drugs that contain ephedrine or codeine

Those found guilty of possession could face:

  • A felony conviction and up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 for substances classified as schedule III or IV
  • A misdemeanor conviction and up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 for possession of substances classified as schedule V

Other Possible Consequences

  • Background checks – In today’s world, running a thorough background check is standard for many employers, schools and professional licensing boards. If you have a drug-related conviction on your record, it could be harder to secure employment, or admission to a university or professional practice. You may even be completely disqualified from some opportunities.
  • Difficulty renting property – Landlords and property management companies have lengthy rental applications and strict policies for evaluating potential tenants. A criminal history with a drug-related conviction could disqualify you from renting certain property and could make it impossible to live where you want to live.
  • Job loss – Do you work with children or in some other caretaking capacity? Do you work in a pharmacy or around controlled substances? Depending on the responsibilities of your job and the policies of your employer regarding drug-related criminal convictions, a conviction for possession could put your job at risk.
  • Suspension from federal student aid eligibility – If you are a student or hoping to go back to school, a drug-related conviction could make it difficult for you to obtain federal student loans.
  • Driver’s license suspension – In Michigan, if you have a drug-related criminal conviction, your license faces automatic suspension regardless of whether you were driving at the time of your offense. First-time offenders will have their driver’s license suspended for six months with 30 days of no restricted license and have to pay reinstatement fees. This means that for your first drug conviction, you will have restrictions on your license for six months, and for the first 30 days, you will have complete suspension.

How A Lansing Drug Crimes Lawyer Can Help

Charges for possession of a controlled substance are a serious matter that could impact your life in many ways for years to come. A Lansing drug defense lawyer will walk you through your case from beginning to end, fighting for the best possible outcome for your specific situation.

Every case is different, and your Lansing drug possession lawyer may explore a number of possible defenses on your behalf, including:

  • You didn’t know what the substance was – In order to break the law, you must knowingly be in possession of a controlled substance. If you had reason to believe that the substance in question was actually something else, and thus you did not know it was a controlled substance, your lawyer may be able to use your lack of knowledge to build a defense.
  • The substance was not yours – To be guilty of possession, you actually have to possess the substance in question. If the substance was not yours and actually belonged to someone else, your lawyer may be able to use this information to your benefit.
  • You possessed the substance legally – There are many valid medical uses for substances classified in Schedules III through V. If you possessed the substance in question pursuant to a valid medical prescription, your lawyer may be able to have the charges against you dropped.

Talk To A Lansing Drug Possession Lawyer Today

These are just a few of the many possible ways your criminal defense attorney in Lansing, Michigan, may be able to help you favorably resolve possession charges. To find out more about how Tiffany DeBruin can help you navigate your unique legal circumstances, contact DeBruin Law, PLLC, at 517-731-0353.