If you have been arrested for possession or distribution of drugs, you may be facing the prospect of serious jail time and a lasting criminal record. Michigan state laws are increasingly harsh on drug offenders, and often give law enforcement officials significant leeway to infringe on your rights. East Lansing criminal defense attorney Steven M. Feigelson understands these issues and is prepared to represent you in the fight for your rights as a defendant. With significant experience before the Michigan criminal courts, Mr. Feigelson has the skills and knowledge you need in a legal representative.Michigan Drug Offenses
Michigan law penalizes the possession, distribution, and manufacture of drugs. It also complies with federal laws that prohibit the trafficking of drugs. These crimes are prosecuted very aggressively, and defending yourself against them requires the assistance of a qualified Michigan criminal defense attorney like Steven M. Feigelson.PossessionIf you are found with drugs on your person, you may be charged with the crime of possession. If the amount of drugs is relatively large, law enforcement may also attempt to charge you with possession with an intent to sell or deliver. The punishment you face for a possession charge varies depending on the type of drug. Marijuana possession is considered a misdemeanor and carries penalties of up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines. Possession of ‘harder’ drugs such as methamphetamines or heroin can be classified as a felony and result in up to 10+ years of jail time and very large fines.DistributionIf you are found to be in possession of large quantities of drugs, or law enforcement has a reason to believe that you are distributing drugs to others, you can be charged under Michigan law for drug distribution and sale. Distribution and sale of marijuana carries a penalty of up to 7 years in prison and $500,000 in fines, while distribution of drugs like cocaine or heroin can result in up to 20 years in prison. Additionally, the state also has the right to force you to forfeit any property used in connection with the sale of drugs, such as a car or other goods.ManufactureThe manufacture of drugs in Michigan, or the cultivation of marijuana plants, is considered a very serious crime that can also lead to punishment and imprisonment. The manufacture of drugs is a felony and will stay on your record. Depending on the amount cultivated or created, you could face anywhere from ten years in jail to life imprisonment.Medical MarijuanaIt is important to know that under Michigan law, individuals with chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions are allowed to use medical marijuana to treat their ailments under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. A valid right to use medical marijuana can therefore be used as a defense to claims of possession, where a defendant shows that:
- A physician has established that the defendant is likely to receive therapeutic benefit from the medical use of marijuana;
- The defendant did not possess more of the drug than medically necessary; and
- The defendant used the drug to treat or alleviate serious or debilitating medical symptoms.
If you are in possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes and have recently been charged with a drug offense, you should contact a qualified Michigan criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in order assess your case and determine whether this defense may be available to you.Fighting Back Against Aggressive Drug Prosecution
The state of Michigan is well known for its aggressive prosecution of drug crimes. While these efforts are important and often help get dangerous criminals off of our streets, they also result in many faulty arrests and overzealous efforts by law enforcement. If you or a loved one have recently been wrongly charged with a drug offense, you have the right to fight back against such allegations in court. Michigan criminal defense lawyer Steven M. Feigelson has represented many Michigan residents in their fight against wrongful drug charges, and he is available to assist you. We proudly serve clients throughout the Lansing region, including in St. Johns, Charlotte, Howell, and Owosso. For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, contact us at 517-333-3373 or online.