Courts in Michigan have a reputation for being tough on drug crimes. State laws categorize controlled substances, placing them into schedules that affect the charges and potential sentences. If you have been charged with a drug crime, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. Grand Rapids and Traverse City drug crime lawyer Kelly Neumann and the staff at the Neumann Law Group are here to help you assert your rights.Protecting Your Rights During a Prosecution for a Drug Crime
There are five categories of controlled substances. In Schedule 1, there are substances that cannot be used for a legitimate medical purpose and that have a significant potential for abuse. They include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and GHB. In Schedule 2, there are substances that do have an approved medical use but also are highly addictive with a significant potential for abuse. These include cocaine, morphine, oxycodone, methadone, and methamphetamines.
How much of a Schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance is involved in your charges may affect the types of penalties that you might face if you are convicted. If you have more than 1,000 grams of cocaine, for example, you may face life imprisonment and up to $1 million in fines. On the other hand, if your charges involve 25-50 grams of heroin, you may face up to four years’ imprisonment and $25,000 in fines.
Schedules do not determine all sentences. For example, the possession of methamphetamine or ecstasy in any quantity may result in $15,000 in fines and 10 years’ imprisonment. The maximum penalty for marijuana possession is one year of imprisonment and $2,000 in fines.
Schedule 3 substances are those with a slightly lower risk of dependency, such as ketamine and hydrocodone with aspirin. Schedule 4 drugs are those with a low risk of dependency, such as Valium and Xanax. Schedule 5 drugs have a very low potential for abuse and may be obtained over the counter, such as ephedrine-based allergy medicines and cough syrups with Codeine.
Possession with intent to distribute is punished more harshly. As with possession, the quantity of the drug and the schedule in which the drug is placed will affect sentencing. For example, possession with intent to distribute under 50 grams of cocaine may result in up to four years’ imprisonment and $25,000 in fines. There may be double penalties imposed for selling to a minor or within a certain distance of school property.
There may be many ways to defend against drug crime charges. Sometimes the police may make procedural errors or violate the constitutional rights of suspects, and this may be used as part of a defense strategy. For example, you have a Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police did not have probable cause to conduct a search of your apartment, and this led to their finding the drugs at issue in your case, it may be possible to get this evidence suppressed. The prosecution needs to prove its charges beyond a reasonable doubt, and without the drugs, it may not have a viable case.Retain an Experienced Drug Crime Lawyer in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
Criminal convictions may change your life. If you are facing a drug crime charge in Michigan, you should consult an aggressive Traverse City or Grand Rapids drug crime attorney who can craft a strong strategy on your behalf. The Neumann Law Group also represents defendants in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Wyoming, Saginaw, Muskegon, Midland, Holland, Warren, and Petoskey, as well as communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free consultation. We also can assist you if you need a theft attorney or representation in fighting another type of criminal charge.