The crime of Possession of Marijuana is a misdemeanor governed by MCL 333.7403(2)(d) which indicates that a
conviction for possession of marijuana may result in a sentence of up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.00.
There is also a crime of Use of Marijuana, which is also a misdemeanor, governed by MCL 333.7404(2)(a) and offers
a possible sentence of up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $100.00. In addition to all of this, the Legislature in
MCL 333.7408a(1) has decided that any conviction for any type of marijuana possession case will result in the loss
of your license for a period of 6 months.
There are many defenses to the charge of possession of marijuana in Michigan. Specifically, the newly enacted Michigan Medical Marijuana Act provides Constitutional protections. Also, the issue of whether you actually “possessed” anything, or if you "knowingly or intentionally" possessed marijuana is often an overlooked defense. If you have a medical marijuana card, there are affirmative defenses that you have to make in order to protect you from the prosecutors and cops trying to stop you from using your medicine. As with most charges, the defenses available are wide ranging and depend entirely on the facts of each case.
MCL 333.7411 AND HYTA
Although there are many defenses to a possession of marijuana and drug charges, there are also sentencing alternatives which could lead to the case being dismissed after a guilty plea is accepted. For instance, MCL 333.7411 (7411) allows a Court to take certain drug possession charges under advisement for a period of supervision, and upon successful completion of the supervision period the Court may dismiss your case.
Similarly, MCL 762.11, also known as the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), allows the Court to take certain charges under advisement for youthful offenders (17th birthday-21st birthday) for a period of supervision, and upon successful completion of the supervision period, the Court may dismiss the case. A conviction taken pursuant to HYTA and 7411 could also allow you to avoid potential driving sanctions .
Michigan Felony Drug Possession
The Michigan Penal Code separates drugs and controlled substances into schedules with
differing criminal penalties for drugs in each category. For example, Schedule 1 drugs, such
as heroin or LSD, have no accepted medical purpose and a very high potential for addiction.
Schedule 2 drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines, have accepted medical use
(though very restricted), and have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Schedule 3
drugs, like steroids and morphine, have a moderate potential for addiction and an accepted
medical use. Schedule 4 drugs, such as Valium and Xanax, are widely used in medical treatment
and have lesser potential for addiction than Schedule 3 drugs. Schedule 5 drugs, such as codeine,
have widely accepted medical uses and low potential for addiction or abuse, but cannot be legally
purchased in bulk.
If you are found in possession of any amount of drug without a valid prescription, you could face serious penalties. Furthermore, the police will look for ways to enhance drug charges by looking for facts to create an "intent to distribute" or "maintaining a drug house."
Penalties for Drug Possession
Less than 25 grams of cocaine, LSD, peyote, mescaline (felony): Up to 4 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
Any amount of ecstasy (MDMA) or methamphetamine(felony): Up to 10 years in prison and/or $15,000 in fines
25g to 50g of a Schedule 1 or 2 (felony): Up to 4 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
50g to 450g of a Schedule 1 or 2 ((felony): Up to 20 years in prison and/or $250,000 in fines
450g to 1kg of a Schedule 1 or 2 ( (felony): Up to 30 years in prison and/or $500,000 in fines
Over 1kg of a Schedule 1 or 2 ( (felony): Life imprisonment and/or $1,000,000 in fines
Speak with a Lawyer Today
Drug crimes are complicated cases that require an experienced criminal defense attorney to evaluate the details of each case. Bommarito Law has helped numerous clients navigate through the legal system and minimize the consequences of a drug conviction. Speak with a lawyer at Bommarito Law today to explore the legal options that could help keep you out of jail, avoid harsh fines, and avoid driver license consequences.