In Michigan, possession of a controlled substance or a prescription drug without a prescription is a crime. The penalties vary depending on the type of drug, amount, location, and if the accused has any prior criminal drug history. If the police and prosecutor believe you possess these drugs with the intent to deliver them to someone else, the punishments are more severe. The penalties vary on the type of drug or drugs that were possessed (what schedule the drugs were) and how much you had (the weight of the drugs).
Under Michigan law (MCL 333.7403), controlled substances are listed in five categories called schedules. Schedule I and Schedule II substances are considered the most addictive, highly dangerous, and widely abused so the punishments are more severe.
What the Prosecutor Must Prove
- Defendant knowingly possessed a controlled substance
- Defendant created, manufactured, or had the intent to deliver the controlled substance to someone else; and
- Defendant was not in lawful possession of the controlled substance or was acting outside the scope of his lawful duties
Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance narcotic with Intent to Deliver
- Less than 50 grams—20 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
- 50-449 grams—20 years in prison and/or $250,000 in fines
- 450-999 grams—30 years in prison and/or $500,000 in fines
- 1,000 or more grams—Life in prison and/or $1,000,000 in fines
Consecutive Sentencing—Convictions under this section may run consecutively (after) any other sentences that Defendant is convicted of.
Possession of any other Schedule I, II, or III Controlled Substance (except marijuana) with Intent to Deliver
Possession of any amount of a Schedule III drug with intent to deliver is punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines.
Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver
Possession of any amount of a Schedule IV drug with intent to deliver is punishable by up to four years in prison and/or $2,000 in fines.
Possession of a Schedule V Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver
Possession of any amount of a Schedule V drug with intent to deliver is punishable by up to two years in prison and/or $2,000 in fines.
Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver
Possession of Marijuana with intent to deliver is based upon the total weight or number of plants. It ranges from four to 15 years in prison.
Possession of Prescription Pills or Counterfeit Prescription Pills With Intent to Deliver
Possession of any amount of prescription pills or counterfeit prescription pills with intent to deliver is punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or $5,000 in fines.
Proving the Intent Element
If the police don’t catch you red-handed distributing the drug to someone else, the prosecutor has to prove that you possessed the drugs with the intent to deliver them. They generally try to prove that with circumstantial evidence—the weight of the drugs (too much for a single user), the packaging of the drugs (multiple bags as opposed to one), and other factors. Often they need an expert witness to testify about drug dealers to the jury. You may need to have your own expert to counter the prosecution’s expert.
Deferred sentencing under MCL 333.7411 only applies to drug use and drug possession charges. It does not apply to the more serious charges of drug dealing, possession of drug paraphernalia, or maintaining a drug house or drug car. Unless the prosecutor agrees to lower the charge to drug use or drug possession, you cannot get 7411.
- Lack of Knowledge—If Defendant was not aware the drugs were in his house, car, or other place the police found them, he cannot be guilty because the law requires that the Defendant knew the drugs were in his possession.
- Lack of Intent—Defendant must have intended to deliver the drugs to someone else. If Defendant possessed the drug were his own personal use, he cannot be guilty. Often this comes down to circumstantial evidence and expert testimony.
- Mere Presence—Simply because Defendant was at the scene was drug dealing or drug possession occurred, is not enough to convict him of the crime.
- Fourth Amendment Violations-— There may be various search and seizure violations that could lead to a suppression of the evidence. This includes everything from challenging the police stop to challenging the search, challenging the search warrant, problems in the chain of custody of the evidence, or problems in the testing of the controlled substance. Only an expert criminal defense attorney will not how to spot problems in the police and lab reports that can lead to suppression and dismissal.
Michigan Possession with Intent to Deliver Defense Attorney
Drug dealing is a very serious crime with severe penalties. If you have been charged with creating, manufacturing, or possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, call Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to our Michigan drug possession attorney.
Defending drug possession with intent to deliver charges throughout Michigan in the counties of: Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Jackson, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, Livingston, Barry, Kent, Gratiot and in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Okemos, Haslett, Bath, St. Johns, Charlotte, Jackson, Corunna, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Brighton, Howell, Ithaca, Durand.