Drug and Marijuana Crimes
The ABDO LAW firm handles every type of drug crime in all Macomb County Courts ranging from simple use or possession, as well as the more serious felony drug crimes which involve delivery, manufacturing (growing) or possession with intent to deliver.
Our attorneys have represented 1,000’s of clients charged with drug crimes since the 1980’s. We know when the prosecutor has over-charged a client with a felony when the facts support only a misdemeanor, or when the police charge innocent parties because they are merely at the wrong place at the wrong time.Under Investigation or Charged with a Drug Crime? We Can Level the Playing Field!
Same Day Appointment: Because drug cases are serious matters, we have a same day policy for office appointments and meeting individuals at jail that have been incarcerated.
Aggressive Legal Services: We do not hesitate to obtain complete discovery of the police reports, talk to any witnesses and make initial contact with the detective or police handling the case.
Answers to Your Questions: If you or a loved one is faced with a drug or marijuana crime, our highly rated criminal defense lawyers are prepared to discuss all aspects of the case including:
- Legal defenses such as lack of knowledge or medical marijuana situations.
- The legality of the police conduct, search of vehicle, person or premises.
- Whether cooperation, undercover work, is an acceptable option.
- Property forfeitures and taking swift action to get property returned.
- Provisions of Michigan’s laws which result in a dismissal without trial.
- Using 7411 to get “use” and “possession” charges dismissed.
- Using HYTA to get charges dismissed for youthful offenders (age 17 to 24).
- Getting felony charges reduced to misdemeanors.
- Personalized recommendations for substance abuse treatment.
- Potential outcomes of your case based upon 35 years of experience.
- Participation in a Drug Court program when available.
- Drug crimes at the borders (Detroit, Port Huron) or Metro Airport (Romulus)
An arrest for a drug case can occur without warning after execution of a search warrant, being present at a place where drugs are used or sold, or after a routine traffic stop. After the arrest, an arraignment will be scheduled at the court having jurisdiction of the matter. At the arraignment, the court will set bond. The court has the authority to set substantial bond for felony matters or when a person is a flight risk or danger to the community. An attorney handling the arraignment is able to advocate for a personal or minimal bond which can save $1,000.00’s that might otherwise be needed for a bondsman.
A word about jail visits: The Macomb County Jail is extremely user friendly when it comes to emergency attorney visits. However, some of the local police departments lack the facilities and security to allow non-police personnel into custodial areas.
Do not talk to the police: Because the police have the upper hand in these situations, we recommend that our clients refrain from talking to the police unless otherwise advised by our lawyers. Remember the police are skillful gatherers of information. The police know that a person may deny possession of drugs in an interrogation situation. However, by getting a person to talk, they can gain information to establish basic facts or relationships that tend to show conspiracy or aiding and abetting in the commission of a crime.Drug Crimes: Penalties Depend on Type of Drug and Conduct of the Accused (User or Dealer)
Drug and marijuana crimes are prosecuted under federal or Michigan laws, or both. In Michigan, the statutes and penalties regarding drug crimes are found in the Controlled Substance Act. Drug crimes can result in a broad range of criminal and administrative consequences, including prison, probation (up to 2 years for a misdemeanor and up to 5 years for a felony), forfeiture of property/vehicles/cash, driver license suspension and court-ordered drug treatment programs.
Michigan drug crimes are classified according to the substance involved and the nature of a person’s conduct in conjunction with the substance. Greater penalties apply when a substance is classified as one that is considered highly addictive or damaging. The conduct of the person (user, possessor, dealer, manufacturer) is the other criteria that determines the criminal charge with respect to drug crimes. In addition to the above, penalties may be doubled or tripled for repeat drug offenders or when the offense occurs in a school free zone (within 1000 feet of school property or library).Prevalent Drug Crimes in our Macomb County Courts
|Possession of narcotics/drug paraphernalia||Misdemeanor|
|Possession of marijuana||Misdemeanor|
|Possession of analogues (Xanax, Vicodin, etc)||Felony|
|Possession of heroin, cocaine||Felony|
|Possession of methamphetamine||Felony|
|Possession of MDMA (ecstasy)||Felony|
|Maintaining a drug house||Felony|
|Manufacturing marijuana (any amount of plants)||Felony|
|Delivery/possession with intent to deliver analogues||Felony|
|Delivery/possession with intent to deliver marijuana||Felony|
|Delivery/possession with intent to deliver heroin/cocaine||Felony|
|Delivery/possession with intent to deliver MDMA||Felony|
With over 40 years of experience handling drug crimes, we know all of the tactics which are employed by law enforcement officers to effectuate a drug bust.
If you or your child has been charged with a drug offense, the police probably engaged in one of the following means to find drugs or build a case:
- Obtained consent to search a motor vehicle or premises
- Searched a vehicle or premises incident to an arrest (such as drunk driving)
- Used a confidential informant to conduct undercover drug deals
- Used an informant to make an introduction to an undercover police officer
- Alleged to have seen drugs or marijuana in plain view (roach in ashtray)
- Observed at a drug house under police surveillance
Informant and Undercover Officers: Use of an informant usually means that the police have engaged a third party that has legal troubles. An offer is made for the party to get favorable treatment in the court system in exchange for cooperation. We have written an article on this issue which is entitled, Should you cooperate with the police, aka snitch, when faced with possible drug crimes?
When an informant is used, the police may use the informant to engage in several undercover drug deals with or without “marked money” before making a bust. Multiple criminal charges can be pursed based upon each drug deal. In other cases, the informant may be excused after an introduction is made to an undercover police officer. The undercover police officer will then conduct transactions independent of the informant.
Consent Searches: Consent search means that the police have been given the right to search a vehicle or home by a party with authority or apparent authority. In general, during a lawful traffic stop, officers may ask for consent to search the person and the vehicle, even though there may be no suspicion of criminality. Our experience with consent searches is that they are not always conducted fairly and may be attacked on grounds of involuntariness or that consent was obtained by misrepresentation. Courts have held that consent searches are invalid when the police say “we have a warrant” or that “we can get a search warrant”.Cooperation, Property Forfeitures
Forfeitures: The United States government and State of Michigan both have the power to seize any assets, including money, bank accounts, real estate and vehicles that are acquired by drug profits or is used as a place to store, sell, transport or manufacture drugs. Forfeiture laws are extremely harsh and one can be faced with seizure and forfeiture of assets even though no crime is charged!
Forfeitures may be challenged by posting a bond and fighting the forfeiture case in the courtroom. However, many individuals in this position do not know that forfeitures can often be resolved or settled in a timely fashion without posting bond, paying substantial legal fees and dragging the case out in the court system for many months or years. Although we have been successful settling forfeiture cases associated with drug crimes, the police are reluctant to return firearms based on policy against putting the weapons back on the streets. Cellular phones are also a popular item that is the subject of forfeiture; especially those that contain text messages evidencing drug deals.
Cooperation: Another dilemma for someone that is faced with drug charges is whether he or she should cooperate with the police. Cooperation is the term used when the police offer a deal or concession in exchange for engaging in undercover drug deals. Merely giving names of known drug offenders rarely is considered to be sufficient cooperation. Furthermore, the extent of cooperation and the nature of the concession or deal afforded to the informant are rarely made clear by law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, the cooperating party is often stuck doing potentially dangerous drug deals without full disclosure or knowing all of his or her other options.Charged with a Drug Crime? KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
Even when the facts of a drug crime case seem bad, we can negotiate to have charges reduced, dismissed or apply for a disposition according to special provisions of Michigan laws such as:
MCL 333.7411: This provision of law, known as 7411, is often used to get drug charges dropped after a period of probation. This provision is available only once in a person’s lifetime for offenses involving “use” or “possession” of drugs, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, analogues or marijuana. It is not available for delivery or manufacturing offenses.
MCL 762.11: This law, known as HYTA (the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act) gives eligible offenders, age 17 through age 23, the opportunity to have a non-major drug crime dismissed without entering a conviction. Upon dismissal, the matter is sealed and a non-public record is maintained.
MCL 771.1: Delayed Sentence: When we get a delayed sentence, the Court may be asked at the end of a period of time to reduce the charges, dismiss the charges or grant other leniency.
When it comes to drug crimes, getting ABDO LAW involved in the early stage of your case is essential. Initially, we may consult with family members or arrange a jail visit. Contacting the arresting officer and making arrangements to appear at the arraignment are also vital strategic steps in a criminal case. Should a client need professional help, we will make recommendations regarding substance abuse treatment. Our vast experience makes us a good fit to evaluate your case and make recommendations when it comes to unscrupulous police tactics, questionable searches and seizures, cooperation with the police and forfeiture of assets. We also are available to assist non-residents and Canadians that find themselves in need of a Michigan lawyer that specializes in criminal law.
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