Marijuana Use By People Under 21
The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) decriminalized the use and possession of marijuana for people over the age of 21 effective December 6, 2018. But marijuana isn’t legal in every situation. There are many restrictions, including age.
If you’re under 21, and you find yourself facing a civil infraction or misdemeanor for marijuana, call Davis Law Group right away. A Detroit marijuana lawyer will explain the law and your options. We’ll also fight for you to maintain a clean record. We don’t want a marijuana infraction following you around into adulthood.
Do I Need To Fight a Marijuana Citation?
Yes, you should fight a marijuana citation. If you’re under 21 years old and were allegedly in possession of marijuana, you’ll face a civil citation. This isn’t a crime. It’s lower than a misdemeanor, but that doesn’t mean it’s without consequences.
Think of a civil infraction like a parking ticket. It seems less severe, but you have to take it seriously. If you automatically pay the fine, that’s the same as pleading guilty. You’re admitting fault in the public record.
It doesn’t matter that it’s not technically a crime in Michigan. Anyone who looks at your record will see it as a marijuana crime and something illegal in many other states. It looks bad when you want to get into a good college, apply for a job, or gain a professional license one day. It could impact your ability to win scholarships or get student loans.
Don’t accept your fate; if an officer tickets you for marijuana possession while under 21 years old, call a Detroit marijuana lawyer for help. This is something you want to fight and keep off your record.
Davis Law Group carefully reviews your situation and looks for alternatives. Is there a way to fight the charges? Is there a way to alter the minor in possession citation to something else? We here to fight for the best possible outcome for you.
What Happens if You’re Under 21 and Caught With Marijuana?
Marijuana, like alcohol, is only legal if you’re at least 21-years-old. If a police officer finds you with 2.5 ounces or less, or 12 plants or less, when you’re between 18 and 20 years old, you’ll face a civil infraction.
Unless you fight it, you’ll have to:
- Give up the marijuana in your possession
- Pay a $100 fine
For a second infraction, it’s a $500 fine.
Again, this might not seem like a big deal. It’s just a fine. But you’ll realize it’s a big deal when it starts to affect other areas of your life, like college, work, professional licensure, your driver’s license, and more.
Penalties if You’re Under 18
For a first marijuana citation, you’ll have to:
- Give up the marijuana in your possession
- Take four hours of drug education or counseling
- Pay a fine of up $100 or complete community service
For a second marijuana citation, you’ll have to:
- Give up the marijuana
- Take eight hours of drug education or counseling
- Pay a fine of up to $500 or complete community service
Juvenile Court for Marijuana Use
If you or your child are caught with marijuana while under 18-years-old, the case goes into the juvenile court system. There are potentially severe consequences to this.
The adult court system won’t send you or your child to jail for possessing a small amount of marijuana. But juveniles can be sent to a detention facility. Michigan is unfortunately known for detaining adolescents for non-criminal issues, and Black children and other children of color are disproportionately affected. Detention is a significant risk if you or your child have been in trouble with the law before or are on probation.
If your child has gotten in trouble for marijuana and is now part of the juvenile justice system, call Davis Law Group immediately. Your teen is entitled to legal representation and absolutely should have a lawyer by their side to prevent harsh, unnecessary penalties.
3rd Marijuana Use Charges
If you’re under 21 and caught with marijuana a third time, a prosecutor will charge you with a misdemeanor. You face jail time, probation, community service, and bigger fines. At this point, you already have two infractions on your record. You need to fight this charge. Otherwise, you’ll likely face worse consequences down the road. Davis Law Group is ready to defend you in court.
Other Marijuana Charges in Michigan
Possession as a minor isn’t the only time marijuana is illegal under Michigan law. There are many situations where you can get in trouble.
Marijuana on School Grounds
You can’t have marijuana on school property, no matter your age. You can be charged with a crime if you have or use marijuana or marijuana accessories on public or private school property. Not only that, but your school can suspend or expel you. That could impact where you get into college or transferring to a new university.
Marijuana at Work
What about at work? The MRTMA doesn’t make it legal to have marijuana at your job. Employers can and usually forbid it. If an employer finds you have or used marijuana on its premises, you could be fired or disciplined in addition to facing a civil infraction. When looking for a new job, it’ll be awkward if the hiring manager asks why you were let go from your previous employer.
Another limitation is with driving. You can’t smoke marijuana as a passenger in a vehicle, and you can’t drive while under the influence of marijuana. If convicted of an underage DUI, you face fines, community service, a driver’s license suspension, driving record points, and jail time.
Call a Detroit Marijuana Lawyer for Help
If you or your child are facing underage marijuana charges, call Davis Law Group right away. Don’t underestimate how a marijuana citation can impact a person’s life for years to come. Detroit marijuana attorney Maurice Davis can help you understand your options and fight for a fair outcome.
If you’re ready to learn more, call Davis Law Group at (313) 818-3238 or fill out our online contact form. We offer free, confidential consultations. There’s no risk in talking with us about your options.