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Detroit Legal Blog

Sentencing Guidelines for Synthetic Marijuana Offenses

Jan 31, 2017, by Maurice Davis in Drug Crimes, Legal Blog, Marijuana

In November 2016, the State of Michigan enacted Senate Bill 1176, which created new sentencing guidelines for people convicted of the manufacture, sale, and possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana. In essence, the offense is always a felony involving heavy fines, a significant prison sentence, and a permanent entry onto your criminal history that can affect everything from your employment opportunities to your right to bear arms.

If you have been charged with a synthetic marijuana offense, contact an experienced Detroit marijuana lawyer right away. Davis Law Group can help you navigate the criminal justice system. Call us today at (313) 818-3238.

What Is Synthetic Marijuana?

In recent years, the popularity of synthetic marijuana has soared. Originally conceived as a legal alternative to plant-based marijuana, synthetic marijuana has evolved into a drug of its own – with effects that actually have little to do with pot. Users report intense hallucinations, lack of coordination, aggressive behavior, heart palpitations, and in extreme cases, brain damage.

Manufacturers attempt to elude the authorities by tweaking their chemical formulas, which results in substances that are less and less predictable. When these new substances hit the streets, the results can be devastating. In April of 2015 for example, thousands of people across the United States – including Michigan – were hospitalized after they ingested a newly marketed synthetic marijuana product.

What Are the New Sentencing Guidelines for Synthetic Marijuana?

Michigan law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute marijuana, a substance containing marijuana, or a synthetic equivalent. The penalties applying to a conviction for this felony offense are as follows:

  • 45 kilos or more – Up to 15 years in prison and/or fines reaching $10,000,000
  • Between 5 kilos and 45 kilos – Up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $500,000
  • Less than 5 kilos – Up to four years in prison and/or fines of up to $20,000

According to the Michigan Supreme Court, however, judges are not required to strictly follow these sentencing guidelines. So even if you get convicted for synthetic marijuana trafficking, your lawyer can vastly improve your case outcome through successful advocacy at the sentencing hearing. By highlighting mitigating factors that might apply to your case, a judge may be swayed to give you a lenient sentence.

Effective Defense to Your Synthetic Marijuana Distribution Charges

At Davis Law Group, we are dedicated to bringing your case to a positive resolution. By thoroughly reviewing the evidence against you and determining whether the police violated your rights during their investigation, we may be able to obtain the exclusion of key evidence from the prosecutor’s case. For this reason, you should never plead guilty to your criminal charges before a competent Detroit criminal defense lawyer has had a chance to look at your case.

As a former prosecutor, Attorney Maurice Davis has the perspective necessary to anticipate how the case against you is likely to be structured, and how it might be defeated. With a proven track record of obtaining good case outcomes for his clients accused of Michigan drug offenses, Attorney Davis is well equipped to provide your case with the thorough defense it deserves. For more information on how we can help, call Davis law Group today at (313) 818-3238 for a free and confidential consultation.