Drug Crime Definitions

The law can be confusing and intimidating. ZAYID LAW believes knowledge is power, and we work to make sure you understand the process so you can actively participate in your defense. Below is a list of frequently used terms that will help you understand how the system works. After reading the list, contact Justin Zayid at ZAYID LAW to discuss your case today.

Appeal: If a defendant is convicted, they may request a higher court to review the decision of a lower court. Depending on the circumstances, their conviction may be overturned.

Charge: Specifically states the crime (and statute) you are accused of committing. It is important to consult with an attorney to understand the elements of charge.

Conviction: If a defendant’s case goes to trial, and the judge of jury find him/her guilty, they will be convicted of the crime and sentenced by the court.

Drug Courts: Alternative courts that focus on rehabilitation as opposed to traditional punishment, and it is reserved for people facing addiction. Depending on the circumstances, a person may avoid jail contingent upon the successful completion of rehab or other probation terms.

Drug Distribution: general term for the movement of controlled substances, whether it be from person to person or entity to entity. Read the law at Michigan Complied Laws 333.7407, 10, 10(a).

Drug Manufacture: the creation of controlled substances, and the penalties depend on the type of substance and amount involved. Read the law at Michigan Compiled Laws 333.7401.

Drug Trafficking: Broad term that refers to the amount of the drug or substance involved, and not necessarily in the movement of the drugs. The larger the amount (or weight) the more serious the offense. The offense is a Class A felony. Read the law at Michigan Compiled Laws 333.7401.

Federal Charge: Some drug crimes are enforced by federal may involve federal agencies such as the DEA or FBI, and may be heard in federal court. These federal charges often result in more serious criminal penalties.

Felony: a felony is a more serious charge than a misdemeanor because it includes more jail time, more fines and is more permanent on your record.

Grow Houses: Buildings or homes used for the creation or “growing” of substances illegally. This term is most commonly used in the context of marijuana.

Illicit: a term for “Illegal” or against the law.

Prosecutor: the attorney assigned by the County or City to prove a defendant is guilty.

Mandatory Life Sentence: When a person commits multiple drug crimes or repeat offenses, they may face a mandatory life sentence in Michigan.

Medical Marijuana: In Michigan, you may consume marijuana to treat a medical condition, if it is prescribed by a doctor.

Minor in Possession: a charge against a person under 21 that is found in possession of alcohol or an illicit substance.

Misdemeanor: a criminal charge that carries less severe penalties than a felony but can still have serious consequences on your life.

Narcotic: another name for “drug.”

Possession: to be found with an illegal drug, drug paraphernalia, or other substance on your person, in your house, car, or otherwise knowingly in your control.

Possession With Intent: to knowingly have an illegal substance in your control, and either an amount that suggests you intend to sell or deliver the drug, or other reasons to believe you intended to distribute the drug.

Pre-File: a stage of a criminal case before charges have been “filed.” Also referred to as the “investigative” stage of a criminal case.

Prescription Drug Crime: drug crime involving unauthorized possession or distribution of prescription drugs, doctor prescriptions, or forged prescriptions.

Schedule I: The most dangerous substances in Michigan’s tiered system, and substances that have no medical use and a high potential for abuse. Examples include Ecstasy, LSD, and GHB.

Schedule II: Substances that have an approved medical purpose but a high potential for abuse. Examples include Opium, Cocaine, Morphine, Oxycodone, and Methamphetamines.

Schedule III: Substances that have a intermediate risk of abuse, including ketamine and morphine.

Schedule IV: Susbtances with a low potential for abuse, but still limited potential for addiction, including Valium, Rohypnol, and Xanax.

Schedule V: Substances that may be able to be obtained over-the-counter, often with a very limited potential for abuse, including cough syrups with codeine or medicine containing ephedrine.

Sentencing Guidelines: the state of Michigan recommends minimum and maximum sentences for crimes based on specific details of a case. While judges often follow the sentencing guidelines, they may sentence a person to a greater or lesser sentence. Working with an attorney will allow you to evaluate the sentencing guidelines and how they could affect your case.

7411 (Seventy-Four Eleven) Sentencing: a jail alternative that imposes conditions (judge’s orders) that, if complied with, can result in a clean record. It is important to utilize ZAYID LAW’s expertise to determine if 7411 sentencing is applicable and appropriate for your case.