Drug crimes are prevalent felonies in Michigan and typically result in harsh penalties that can affect a person for life. If convicted of cocaine charges, whether for possession, distribution or manufacture, it’s important to understand the laws and what you can do to fight a conviction.
Cocaine possession in Michigan
There are nuances to the legalities associated with the possession of cocaine in Michigan. Possession of any amount of cocaine is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. Depending on the circumstances, the court may also require defendants to complete substance abuse treatment programs or drug testing as part of their sentence.
Distribution and manufacture of cocaine
In Michigan, it’s illegal for people to sell, deliver or manufacture any amount of cocaine under state law. If convicted, the penalties range from two-four years in prison and fines from $2,000 – $25,000. For someone convicted of distributing or manufacturing more than 50g of cocaine, they could be facing a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
Factors that may aggravate the charges
The above-mentioned penalties are just the standard sentences, and the court may take aggravating factors into consideration when determining a sentence. Factors such as prior criminal history, amount of cocaine found in possession and selling to minors or within a school or church zone can greatly increase the penalty.
Fighting the charge
Depending on the individual case, a defendant may be able to mount an effective defense. The most common defenses you could use are challenging the evidence or lack of evidence, entrapment, illegal search and seizure or a violation of Miranda rights.
If the judge finds your argument compelling, you may be able to avoid a conviction and the accompanying penalties. If not, you still have the right to appeal the charge before the Michigan Court of Appeals.
A drug charge can have a negative, and lasting, impact on a person’s life. Given that expunging a cocaine charge in Michigan is practically impossible, it’s important to understand the laws and take proactive steps to build a strong defense.