Use of Marijuana
As the legal landscape around the country continues to shift and marijuana becomes even more readily accessible, the use and possession of it becomes more and more common. Marijuana has been decriminalized in a handful of Michigan cities, but it is still illegal in most places and under Michigan state law. Unlike some states, Michigan prohibits both the possession and the actual use of marijuana. Under Michigan state law, use of marijuana is only permitted if it is pursuant to a valid prescription and the possessor holds a valid medical marijuana card.
If you’ve been charged with the use of marijuana, you may need the help of an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer.
Drug convictions are serious, and can have consequences that impact your life for years to come.
Michigan statute 333.7404 prohibits the use of marijuana, unless it’s pursuant to a valid prescription by a holder of a state issued medical marijuana card.
In Michigan, the use of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, and/or a fine of up to $100.
However, the penalty that is reflected in state statutes may not be the one a judge decides to impose. A recent Michigan Supreme Court decision gives judges the authority to determine whatever penalties they deem “reasonable” for criminal convictions. An experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer can explain what this might mean for your charge.
Other Possible Consequences in Michigan
A drug conviction can have many other possible consequences that could negatively impact your life for years to come, including:
- Probation that includes invasive monitoring and random drug and alcohol testing
- Suspended driving privileges, affecting your job and daily life
- Ineligibility to receive federal financial aid
- Inability to pass a background check
- Difficulty securing employment
- Difficulty being admitted to certain professional associations
- Difficulty securing housing
- Out right bar on certain employment opportunities
- Difficulty obtaining a passport, visa, or green card
- Rising insurance costs if your conviction was part of operating under the influence
Defending your Michigan Use of Marijuana Charge
All criminal charges should be taken seriously, but drug convictions especially can end in significant disruptions to your life. Michigan courts take marijuana charges seriously, even in light of countrywide decriminalization measures.
If you’ve been charged with the use of marijuana, you need a skilled Michigan criminal defense lawyer on your side to guide you through the criminal justice system and help you fight your charge. Our experienced attorneys are ready to do whatever it takes to achieve the most favorable outcome, whether it be fighting for you during plea negotiations, or at trial.
An experienced lawyer will explore many possible defenses or mitigating circumstances to your charge, including:
- The evidence against you was obtained illegally
- Your arrest was unlawful
- The substance in question was not actually marijuana
- You did not know or have reason to know that the substance in question was marijuana
- You hold a valid medical marijuana card or are in the process of obtaining one
- You are a first time offender and willing to comply with an alternative sentencing program like attending drug treatment or performing community service
- You were in a city that has decriminalized the possession and use of marijuana
Every case and charge presents unique challenges and opportunities. An experienced Michigan defense lawyer can evaluate your case and explain your options, advising you about how best to proceed in order to achieve the best possible outcome to your charge. Don’t risk the long term consequences of a drug conviction, schedule your free consultation with an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer today.
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