Maintaining a Drug House or Drug Vehicle
A person charged with a Michigan drug crime (possession, delivery, manufacturing, possession with intent to deliver) also faces an additional charge known as Maintaining a Drug House whenever the drugs are associated with a residence or vehicle.
What is a Drug House? A Place or Vehicle Where Drugs are Used, Stored or Sold
Michigan Law (MCL 333.7405) provides that a person shall not knowingly keep or maintain a store, shop, warehouse, dwelling, building, vehicle, boat, aircraft, or other structure or place, that is frequented by persons using controlled substances in violation of this article for the purpose of using controlled substances, or that is used for keeping or selling controlled substances in violation of this article.
In summary, a person can be charged with maintaining a drug house if a vehicle or structure is a place where drugs are used, stored or sold!
Maintaining a Drug House Penalties, Consecutive Sentencing, Double Penalty
The maximum penalty for the offense of Maintaining a Drug House is 2 years in prison and a fine of not more than $25,000.00, or both.
Consecutive Sentencing: Upon conviction of multiple drug crimes, Michigan drug laws require consecutive sentencing; as opposed to more favorable concurrent sentencing. For example, this means that a person convicted of both Delivery of Cocaine and Maintaining a Drug House would have to serve the sentence on one offense before serving the sentence on the other offense.
Double Penalty: In addition to the consecutive sentencing provision of Michigan criminal drug laws, a person faces a double penalty upon a second conviction of a drug crime under the statute. For example, if a person is charged with new offense of Delivery of Marijuana (a felony punishable by 4 years in prison) and has a past conviction for any other drug crime, a conviction for the new offense of Delivery of Marijuana could carry up to 8 years in prison (double penalty).
Undercover Police Activity, Controlled Drug Buys, Seizure and Forfeiture of Assets
Recently, our firm has taken on several medical marijuana caregivers that are busted after making sales of marijuana to non-patients and/ or exceed the amount of marijuana which they are permitted to grow (manufacture) and possess. The police will wait until they have gathered strong evidence or have engaged in several undercover drug deals (controlled drug buys) before making an arrest, searching a residence and seizing assets (cash, vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, jewelry). Seizure and forfeiture of assets may be pursued whenever the police and prosecuting attorney believe they can show that the assets were acquired by drug profits or constitute a place where drugs are used, sold or stored. The mere fact that a car contains marijuana in the glove box is sufficient cause for the police to seize, impound and forfeit the vehicle. The accused will be asked to sign over his property, give up his or her constitutional right to remain silent and cooperate with the police by engaging in several undercover drug deals. The police may also erroneously tell the accused not to hire a lawyer!
Contact the Abdo Law Firm if you are being investigated or charged with a drug crime. Our law firm is experience and knows the Michigan drug laws, forfeiture laws and harsh sentencing provisions (consecutive sentencing and double penalty). We will help you regain your sanity by negotiating for the return of seized assets, advising you of your rights and making immediate recommendations. Because of our vast experience handling Michigan drug crimes, we are in good position to predict sentencing ranges and/or if a client qualifies for a dismissal after compliance with a first offender program (such as HYTA or MCL 333.7411).