Drug Crimes FAQ
Our Oakland County Criminal Defense Lawyers Answer Your Questions
Facing drug charges can be stressful, overwhelming, and scary. If you’re convicted of a drug crime, you could be forced to endure severe penalties, including hefty fines and prison time. In addition, even after completing your punishments, your life could be left in shambles. Your finances could be a wreck and you could have trouble getting a job because of your criminal record. A drug conviction doesn’t just damage your life in the present but for years to come.
At Fraiberg & Pernie, PLLC, our Oakland County criminal defense lawyers have more than 35 years of combined legal experience. For years, we have been successfully helping clients facing a variety of crimes, including drug offenses, secure the best possible case results for their situations, such as getting their charges reduced or cases dismissed.
For answers to drug crimes questions that aren’t listed below, or to discuss your situation with one of our experienced Oakland County criminal defense attorneys, give us a call at (248) 440-7936 or reach out to us online today for a free consultation. When you contact us, you will speak with an attorney. We’re available to help 24/7.
I Was Arrested for Growing Marijuana. I Only Grew Marijuana for Personal Use. Will That Have Any Impact On My Case?
Yes. If you were growing up to 24 marijuana plants for personal use, you may only face a civil infraction, which could result in no jail time and a maximum fine of $500. If you were growing 25 to 200 marijuana plants for personal use, that could result in a misdemeanor conviction. A misdemeanor conviction could result in a prison sentence, especially if you’re a habitual offender and/or the incident involved violence at any point.
If You’re Facing Drug Charges, What Are the Most Common Legal Defenses?
Depending on the details of your situation, there are several defenses for drug crimes in Michigan, including:
- Illegal Traffic Stops – This involves law enforcement pulling you over without having reasonable suspicion that you were engaged in illegal activity.
- Unwitting Possession – Your lawyer can argue that you had no idea the drugs were in your possession. For example, if you gave a friend a ride in your car, and they hid the drugs in your vehicle without your knowledge, you unknowingly were in possession of the drugs and may be able to avoid drug possession charges.
- Warrantless Searches – In most cases, law enforcement must have a search warrant to search you or your property.
- Illegal Wiretapping or Surveillance – Law enforcement must also have a warrant before they are allowed to use methods involving video surveillance or wiretapping to gather evidence against you.
- Misidentification – This defense can be used if the substance in your possession turns out not to be an illegal drug. Your attorney can argue that the substance was misidentified as an illegal drug, and as a result, you shouldn’t be charged with drug possession.
- Lack of Possession – This argument involves you not having control of the drugs you’re accused of possessing. An example would be if you share a house with friends and drugs are found in one of your roommate’s rooms and your roommate keeps their room locked. In that situation, your lawyer could argue that you lacked control of the drugs and because of that, you can’t be charged with drug possession.
- Illegal Arrests – Law enforcement cannot arrest you simply because they feel like you did it. They must have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime before they can arrest you.
If I Am Planning to Plead Guilty to Drug Charges, Why Do I Need an Attorney?
One of the most crucial parts of a case is sentencing. If you plead guilty to a drug crime, you leave yourself open to a wide variety of results. Judges consider aggravating factors and mitigating factors when handing down sentences.
Aggravating factors are details regarding your case that could lead to you receiving a more severe sentence (examples include committing the crime in front of a child, how much harm was done to the crime’s victim, and defendants who lack remorse for their actions).
Mitigating factors are details about your case that could result in you receiving a less severe sentence (examples include the age of the defendant, the defendant’s mental capacity, accidentally committing the crime, and whether the crime was committed in self-defense).
An attorney knows the law and knows what the aggravating and mitigating factors are in your case. Your criminal defense lawyer can speak with the judge about those factors and help ensure that the mitigating factors in your case are considered.
If I’m Convicted of a Drug Offense, Can I Appeal?
If you believe you were unfairly convicted of a drug offense, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to appeal the conviction. One example of a reason for appealing a conviction is if evidence damaging to your case was included in your trial when it shouldn’t have been. Another example is when evidence beneficial to your case was excluded from your trial when it shouldn’t have been.
What Happens If a Minor Is Charged with a Drug Offense in Michigan?
No matter what age a person is, if they are charged with a drug crime, it is very serious. However, if a person charged with a drug offense is a minor, that person may be able to escape severe punishment depending on the details of their case.
In some situations, juvenile drug offenders can avoid jail time and serve alternative sentences instead, including attending drug counseling, participating in a drug rehabilitation program, and probation. In addition, juveniles can sometimes avoid having a drug charge added to their permanent record. Keep in mind, there’s no guarantee that a juvenile drug offender will be able to avoid harsh penalties, but under the right circumstances and with the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney, there’s a chance they can.
Contact Our Experienced Oakland County Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys for a Free Consultation Today
Our legal team has an in-depth understanding of how the criminal justice system works. Attorney Matthew A. Fraiberg has experience as a prosecutor, and Attorney Eric L. Pernie is a former police officer. They understand the law from a wide range of perspectives. Having that kind of experience in your corner can give you a leg up against the prosecution.
For more information about Fraiberg & Pernie, PLLC, and how we can help you, read our clients’ testimonials.
If you have more questions about drug crimes in Michigan, or you need to speak with our experienced Oakland County criminal defense lawyers, call us at (248) 440-7936 or contact our firm online for a free consultation today!