Detroit Drug Lawyer
Have you been arrested or charged with a drug crime? Michigan drug laws harshly punish individuals for possessing, using, creating, or selling controlled substances. Unfortunately, many alleged drug offenders need support and compassion – not prison. At Davis Law Group, we believe in fighting hard to keep you out of jail. We want to see you move forward and succeed in life rather than be held back by an unforgiving system.
Why Hire a Drug Crime Defense Lawyer
You have a few options when a prosecutor charges you with a drug crime:
- Plead guilty and lose the chance to defend yourself with a possible acquittal
- Represent yourself
- Have a public defender assigned to your case
- Hire a criminal defense lawyer of your choosing
We recommend that you enter a not guilty plea at your first court appearance. You have the option of changing your plea later if an attorney works out a good plea deal for you. Please do not represent yourself. The criminal justice system is too complex, and you could easily jeopardize your case.
Public defenders are overworked and won’t have the time to truly dedicate themselves to your case. Your best option is hiring someone who handles these cases regularly and knows what to do.
Penalties for Drug Conviction
The consequences of a drug conviction are serious. With so much at stake, it makes sense to talk to a Detroit drug lawyer who can protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.
- Incarceration – sometimes up to life in prison
- Fines ranging from thousands to millions of dollars
- Asset forfeiture to the police
- Loss of your driver’s license
- Loss of your job or trouble finding a job because of your criminal record
- Trouble finding a place to live because of your criminal record
- Losing federal financial aid to pay for classes at a college, technical school, or university
- Trouble getting or keeping a professional license
- Being unable to work as a teacher, doctor, lawyer, nurse, pharmacist, or another licensed professional
- A reduction in your child custody or visitation
- Loss of an immigration visa or green card, denial of citizenship, or deportation if you’re not an American citizen
The stakes are high. If you want the best chance of defeating drug charges, you need someone on your side. Our criminal defense lawyers will be with you at every stage.
Defending Against Drug Charges
There are different ways to defend against drug charges. These include procedural and evidence errors. A Detroit drug lawyer builds the strongest defense possible.
Some defense strategies include proving:
- The substance in question wasn’t an illegal drug (misidentification)
- You lacked actual or constructive possession of the drugs
- The police obtained evidence during an illegal traffic stop
- The police conducted an unreasonable, warrantless search
- The police illegally seized your property
- The police arrested you without probable cause
- The police performed an unlawful canine search
- The police or federal agents performed illegal surveillance on you
The right defense for your case depends on the circumstances. It helps to have an attorney familiar with drug crimes and can scrutinize each part of your case. There are limits to what the police can do. If they violated your rights, a drug defense attorney could request that the court suppresses any illegally obtained evidence.
First-Time Drug Offense Deferral
If you’re facing a drug crime for the first time, talk with a lawyer. You have options, including one that may keep a drug crime off your record.
Michigan judges can choose to defer entering a guilty judgment.
This may be an option if you:
- Have a clean record (no priors)
- Have a non-violent, low-level drug offense
If you receive a deferral, the judge will dismiss the case after you complete all conditions of probation.
This option isn’t an easy way out. Probation can last years, and you may have to meet several conditions. You’ll have to pay court costs and supervisory fees. However, you’ll stay out of prison and will avoid having a criminal record.
How Davis Law Group Can Help
We start with a free initial consultation. This gives you the chance to meet a member of our team and ask a few questions about your case. If we become your lawyers, you will need to be as straight with us as we are with you.
A drug defense lawyer will:
- Independently investigate your case, including talking to witnesses
- Thoroughly evaluate the prosecution’s charges, arguments, and evidence
If we feel the prosecution has a weak case, we can file a motion to dismiss or for charges to be reduced or dropped.
Plea Bargain or Seek an Acquittal
It may be in your best interest to accept a plea deal. You would plead guilty to lesser charges. We present the pros and cons of a plea bargain, but ultimately, it’s your choice. We want you to be prepared for whatever is ahead.
If you want to defend yourself at trial, that’s what we’ll do. You deserve your day in court. Either way, whether you go to trial or accept a plea, we’ll fight to reduce your jail time and minimize the other consequences.
When Can the Police Search You, Your Car, or House?
You’ve heard about the cops needing a search warrant. Unfortunately, there are a lot of exceptions to that rule.
There are several ways police officers may have the right to search you or your belongings without a warrant or your permission:
- If you’re arrested, police can search your person to see if you have any weapons. They also can perform a “stop and frisk.” This search occurs when officers believe that they have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. You are stopped and frisked for a weapon.
- If the police pulled you over for a DUI or drugged driving, they might search your car. The automobile exception is broad, and they may search with probable cause. However, a lawyer knows that there are limits to when and how police can search your vehicle.
- If there’s evidence of a crime in plain sight, such as drugs, the police do not need the warrant to search you or your car.
- If police chase you into a building or an emergency, police can search you without a warrant.
Sometimes the police will ask for your permission to search your home or car. They may insinuate that you look guilty if you refuse. Refuse anyway. You should never agree to let an officer or agent search you, your vehicle, or your home if they ask. They may try to bully you or pressure you to say yes. Politely and calmly say no.
If the police searched you, your vehicle, home, or office, call Davis Law Group right away. A search and seizure attorney will carefully review the facts and determine if the police violated your rights.
Drug Charges We Handle
We are here to defend you against any misdemeanor or felony drug charge in Michigan. Call us right away to set up your free, confidential consultation.
- Use of a Controlled Substance: When you’re arrested for using an illegal drug, you face a misdemeanor crime. The penalty depends on whether it’s a Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V drug. The lower the schedule, the harsher the punishment.
- Use of Marijuana: Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, but there are still rules. You must be at least 21 years old and can only imbibe in private. You can possess two-and-a-half ounces of cannabis or 15 grams of concentrates or more if you grow at home. Breaking the rules is a citation or civil infraction and a fine.
- Possession of a Controlled Substance: Don’t confuse this charge with Use of a Controlled Substance. Possession can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the schedule and amount of the drug. The most lenient offense is possession of a Schedule V drug, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,000. Penalties increase to life in prison for 1,000 grams or more for Schedule I or II narcotics.
- Possession of Marijuana: Michigan law tightly regulates recreational and medical marijuana, and some local jurisdictions have banned it altogether. If you possess more than the law allows, you face a civil infraction or a misdemeanor.
- Drug Trafficking: Drug trafficking includes manufacturing, creating, delivering, or possessing with the intent to manufacture, create, or deliver a drug. Trafficking is always a felony, although the potential penalty depends on the schedule and amount of the drug. If your case involves a large number of drugs or crossing state lines or U.S. borders, you could face federal charges.
- Marijuana Cultivation, Sale, and Possession With Intent: Growing, selling, or distributing cannabis are tightly regulated activities. If your actions are outside what’s allowed for personal use and without a license, you could face a felony. It is a civil infraction if you gift a small amount to another person.
- Counterfeit Drugs: Crimes involving counterfeit prescription drugs, synthetic drugs (controlled substance analogs), and imitation controlled substances can be felony offenses. You could spend years in prison if you’re arrested for possessing, manufacturing, or trafficking these drugs.
- Prescription Drug Charges: If you are found with a single prescription form that is not yours, it’s a misdemeanor. You risk harsher charges if you’re found with counterfeit prescription drugs, a medical provider’s prescription pad, or a fraudulent prescription pad.
Drug Charges: Frequently Asked Questions
Feeling confused and worried about a drug charge? While you’re looking for an attorney, we have compiled these frequently asked drug crime questions for those facing drug charges across Detroit and surrounding cities.
If you have a question that has not been answered here, feel free to contact us.
When Are Drug Charges Misdemeanors?
Under Michigan law, misdemeanors are less severe than felonies. Use or possession of a controlled substance and other similar drug charges may be considered misdemeanors. If convicted, you could spend up to one year in jail and face penalties such as probation or community service.
When Are Drug Charges Felonies?
Generally, when someone is charged with the manufacture, sale, distribution, or trafficking of drugs, they face felony drug charges. This is usually because the crime involves larger amounts of drugs.
The penalties for felony drug charges depend on several factors, including the type of drug, the amount, your prior record, and any extenuating factors.
What Makes a Drug Crime a Federal Offense?
People are usually charged federally for drugs when someone is accused of bringing drugs across state lines. This significantly increases the stakes for the accused because the penalties of a federal drug conviction can be far more devastating than at the state level.
Will I Go to Jail for Drugs?
Not always. There are many instances in which you may be able to avoid having to go to jail. Your case could be dismissed depending on the evidence against you and the details of your arrest. It is also possible that you may qualify for a deferred adjudication program which spares you jail time altogether.
Can I Expunge a Drug Conviction?
Expunging a drug conviction means that they will not see that you have been convicted of a drug charge when someone runs your criminal background check.
The requirements to expunge drug convictions are strict, and not every offense will be eligible.
What Are Scheduled Drugs?
Controlled substances are classified into different drug schedules. They are classified as Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V based on their addictiveness and accepted medical use. Examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, ecstasy, and LSD.
Schedule V drugs would be considered the least addictive and have a generally accepted medical use. Examples include over-the-counter drugs such as codeine.
What Happens to My License?
Individuals convicted of their first offense for a drug crime can expect to have their license suspended for a minimum of six months. Depending on the details, habitual offenders can expect to have their license suspended for longer or even revoked.
What Is Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia consists of any equipment or product used to store, manufacture, modify, conceal, or consume illicit drugs. Examples of drug paraphernalia include pipes, bongs, roach clips, spoons, plastic baggies, cigarette packages, loose razor blades, cut-up straws, unrolled cigars, broken lighters, and more.
What if the Drugs Were Not Mine?
If the drugs are not yours, your attorney may build a case that proves that the drugs were not yours. For the state to prosecute you, they may need to prove that you intended to be in possession of the drugs in question.
If you have a shared vehicle or a living space, the drugs may belong to someone else who had access to these areas. Your attorney will examine the details to build the strongest defense possible and place reasonable doubt in the jury’s mind.
Should I Work With a Public Defender?
Although public defenders work hard for their clients, they are often stretched thin and unable to provide the attention your case may need. When facing drug charges, your future could be on the line. Your case deserves to be a top priority. If it’s at all feasible, a private defense attorney is likely a better option.
Call a Detroit Drug Lawyer for Help Today
Our Detroit drug defense lawyers are former prosecutors. This gives us an important perspective. We know how prosecutors think and prepare. The Davis Law Group leverages this experience to your benefit.
Please don’t trust your life and liberty to an overworked public defender or try to defend yourself. Get help from the Davis Law Group. Call (313) 818-3238 for your free, confidential consultation or use our online form.