Michigan enforces laws against not only the possession or distribution of drugs, but also the use of a controlled substance without a prescription or medical card. You can face charges for not only the use of illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or meth — but also legal drugs without a prescription, such as using an Oxycontin or Valium tablet that isn’t prescribed to you.
The potential consequences of drug conviction can be lasting and harmful, even for a first conviction. If you are convicted of the use of a controlled substance, you may face:
- A jail sentence or probation
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- A permanent criminal record as a drug offender, which may affect your ability to get hired or find rental housing
- Suspension or revocation of a professional license (e.g. lawyers, medical professionals, etc.)
It is critical to set up an aggressive defense to fight your charges in order to avoid a conviction. ZAYID LAW will enter the case as early as possible to deploy an aggressive defense based on the unique circumstances of the facts and charges brought against you. This unique approach to your defense will ensure the best possible outcome and will help you avoid lifelong ramifications.
Penalties for Use of a Controlled Substance
Use of a controlled substance is generally a misdemeanor under Michigan law, and the possible sentence that a court may impose varies depending on the nature of the substance. Under Section 333.7404 of the Michigan Public Health Code, the penalties for a conviction may include:
Schedule 1 or 2 Narcotic (e.g. Heroin, Morphine) or Cocaine
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Fine of up to $2,000.
Schedule 1, 2, 3 or 4 Controlled Substance (other than a narcotic and cocaine)
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Fines up to $1,000.
Schedule 5 drug: (e.g. LSD or Peyote)
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Fines of up to $500.
Effect on Driver's License
Michigan law requires driver license suspensions for drug convictions, even if you were not driving at the time of the offense.
- First Conviction: Suspension for 6 months with no restricted license permitted for 30 days.
- Second or Subsequent Conviction In 7 Years: Suspension for 1 year with no restricted license permitted for 60 days.
See more at https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_8665_9078-30054--,00.html
Zayid Law's Strategies to Defend Your Drug Use Charges
As outlined above, the potential consequences for a drug charge can leave a lasting effect on your life. It is critical that you set up your legal defense as early as possible to set up a defense and be in the best position to fight and preserve your rights.
To convict you of a drug use charge, a prosecutor has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you knowingly used a controlled substance without a valid prescription. ZAYID LAW has experience with the methods in which prosecutors prove up the charges and have built a set of legal defenses and strategies to combat the prosecutors’ approach, including
- No consumption: You never actually consumed the drug
- No Controlled Substance: The substance was incorrectly identified as a “controlled substance”
- No Knowledge: you did not know that the substance was illegal
- Improper Search: Attacking the way in which the evidence was obtained
- Illegal Search
- Invalid Warrant
- Improper Arrest: No Probable Cause
- Illegal Confession: You were not properly read your rights after the arrest
ZAYID LAW recognizes that every case requires a uniquely built legal defense and aggressively pursues all available options to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.
Michigan law offers sentencing alternatives for convictions related to the use of a controlled substance. This means that in the event that you are convicted of a crime involving use of a controlled substance, you may be able to avoid or at least reduce jail time. ZAYID LAW typically seeks these alternatives when an individual is suffering from addiction, and the alternative measures provide a chance at rehabilitation as opposed to traditional punishment.
ZAYID Law has experience securing the following alternatives for clients facing drug use charges:
- Probation: Probation may be granted when a judge is convinced that the offender is unlikely to reoffend of up to 5 years (felonies) and up to 2 years (misdemeanors). The terms of the probation are initially established in an order but are subject to change based on compliance and other circumstances.
- Alternative Court: You may be able to go through drug court and complete an inpatient or outpatient drug abuse treatment program and other conditions in lieu of going to jail.
- Michigan Homes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA): Persons aged 17-21 may clear their record under the Michigan Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). If a person is considered eligible for HYTA and he/she completes probation, the underlying offense will not appear on his/her criminal record.
- Seventy-Four Eleven (7411) Sentencing: Michigan offers “Seventy-Four Eleven” Sentencing, derived from Michigan Penal Code Section 333.7411. Under this rule, judges can establish terms by which a person charged with particular drug crimes can avoid jail if they adhere to the conditions set forth by the Court. The most common terms under 7411 are payment of fees and drug rehabilitation.
- Delayed Sentence: Delayed sentencing is an option if and when you are convicted of a crime in Michigan. The judge must be convinced you are not likely to commit another crime or be a danger to the public. Under this procedure, your sentence may be postponed for up to one year, during which you may petition the Court for a smaller sentence while also exploring additional alternative sentencing options. The convicted party must abide by the terms and conditions imposed by the Court during his/her delayed sentence. Unlike deferred sentencing, a delayed sentence will still show up on your public record.