Michigan Drug Possession Laws

In Michigan, it is against the law to possess a controlled substance or controlled substance analogue, unless the substance was obtained legally by a physician. MCL 333.7402

Possession of Narcotics and Cocaine

A person in possession of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic drug or cocaine is subject to the following penalties, depending on the amount of the drug in possession:

Less than 25 grams is a felony, punishable by;

  • Up to 4 years in prison
  • $25,000.00 fine, or both

25 – 50 grams is a felony, punishable by;

  • Up to 4 years in prison
  • $25,000.00 fine, or both

50 – 450 grams is a felony, punishable by;

  • Up to 20 years in prison
  • $250,000.00 fine, or both

450 – 1,000 grams is a felony, punishable by;

  • Up to 30 years in prison
  • $500,000.00 fine, or both

Over 1,000 grams is a felony, punishable by;

  • Life in prison or prison for any term of years
  • $1,000,000 fine, or both

The following charges for drugs:

Possession of methamphetamine or ecstasy (MDMA) is a felony, punishable by;

  • 10 years in prison
  • $15,000,00 fine, or both

Possession of a drug listed in schedule 1, 2, 3, or 4 or analogue that is not a narcotic drug or cocaine is a felony, punishable by;

  • 2 years in prison
  • $2,000.00 fine, or both

Possession of a schedule 5 substance, or LSD, psilocyn, psilocybin (mushrooms), mescaline, peyote, or dimethyltriptamine is a misdemeanor, punishable by;

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • $2,000.00 fine, or both

Possession of marijuana or synthetic marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by;

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • $2,000.00 fine, or both

Possession of a prescription form is a misdemeanor, punishable by;

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • A $1,000.00 fine, or both

Exceptions to the Above Possession Rules

The following instances are not instances where someone would be in violation of the law;

  • An individual suffering from a drug overdose who goes to a hospital or is incapacitated and who is brought to a hospital by another person and the only evidence of controlled substance possession is obtained as a result of the hospital visit and where the evidence shows the person only had controlled substances in the amount for personal use.
  • An individual who accompanies an individual suffering from a drug overdose who is him or herself in possession of drugs and where the evidence of guilt only arose from bringing the person to the hospital and it is apparent from the evidence that the individual only had drugs sufficient for personal use.

What Does “Possession” Mean?

We need to define what it means to be in ‘possession’ of a drug. The law says that possession does not necessarily mean ownership. Possession can mean actual physical control or the person has the right to control the drug, even though the drug may be in a different room or place. Possession may be sole or jointly with another person.

Fighting Possession Charges

A common fact pattern in a drug possession charge is as follows. Cop pulls a car over. Three people in the car. Cop searches and finds drugs. Whose drugs are they? Not my client’s drugs. We take a look at the law on possession to determine whether a person had the drugs in his or her possession.

  • Whose car was it?
  • Where were the drugs found?
  • How close to the drugs was the person charged?
  • Did the police ever see the person with drugs in his or her possession?

These are all relevant questions in this type of case to be analyzed by your criminal defense attorney. Possession cases can be fought.

Sometimes a possession case is clear cut. Perhaps the cops rolled up on you actively consuming your drug of choice. Perhaps you gave a cop consent to search you and he found some dope. You may be worried that a criminal charge will affect your future. There are plea bargains available to keep drug charges off your record.

What is a 7411?

7411 refers to the statute MCL 333.7411. This is a law the enables someone who pleads guilty to drug possession under 25 grams to have the conviction deferred. This means a conviction will not go on the person’s criminal record. A person can only use 7411 once, and it must be for an amount of drugs under 25 grams. A deferral under 7411 will not count as a conviction for purposes of sentence enhancement.

What if I’ve already used a 7411?

Let’s say you’ve been charged with drug possession, it’s clear the drugs were yours, and you’ve already used the 7411. What can you do?

There may still be plea bargains available to help keep a conviction off your record. HYTA is similar concept to a 7411, and can be used by people ages 17 to 24.

A 771.1 and dismissal could also be used to keep a conviction off your record. The trick here will be for your criminal lawyer to negotiate with the prosecutor or speak with the judge and convince them to consent to such a deal when they know you’ve already been given a second chance the first time with a 7411.

Drugged Driving

Often when a person interacts with the police it’s because the police has pulled them over while driving. The police may believe a person is driving under the influence of drugs and may also find drugs in the person’s possession. The person could be charged with drugged driving and possession.

You could be charged with two types of drugged driving: Operating with the presence of a schedule 1 substance or cocaine or operating under the influence of a controlled substance.

Operating with the presence of a schedule 1 substance of cocaine means operating with “any amount” of a schedule 1 substance or cocaine in the person’s system. Whether the person is under the influence of that substance is irrelevant to the charge.

For all other controlled substances, which would include drugs under schedules 2 through 5, a person must be “under the influence of the substance to be found guilty of the crime.

For some reason, the possession charge is more serious than a first-time drugged driving charge. A first-time OWPCS is a 93 day-misdemeanor, whereas possession of a schedule 1 narcotic is a 4 year felony. Makes little sense but that’s what the legislature decided.

Drugs, Schedules, and Marijuana

This article is current at the time it was written. Drugs can change schedules. A schedule the category of classification based on the potential for addiction, abuse, and medical use. Also, recreational marijuana may soon be legal to use in Michigan. See our article Will Michigan See Legal Weed in 2018.

Call ArborYpsi Law at 734.883.9584

Call Sam Bernstein at 734.883.9584 or e-mail at bernstein@arborypsilaw.com.

Sam Bernstein is an Ann Arbor Criminal Lawyer

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Your Criminal Lawyer

We are criminal lawyers practicing in Ann Arbor in Ypsilanti, helping you through your hardest times. ArborYpsi Law focuses on criminal defense. Read Ypsilanti Criminal Lawyer and our ArborYpsi Law blog for more information on criminal issues. Though based in Washtenaw County, we also practice in Wayne County and Oakland County.

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