Possession of Controlled Substances and Possession of Analogues
Beyond marijuana, drug possession offenses often involve things like cocaine, heroin, ecstasy (or “E”), and various prescription medications like vicodin, valium, oxycontin, and other pills called “analogues” (meaning chemically similar to other controlled substances, such as narcotics).
I have handled cases from the outright delivery, or selling of narcotics, to undercover police officers, to the regular guy or gal who complained of back pain to a friend and was given, in the misguided spirit of friendship, a couple of prescription pain pills, one or more of which they forgot about until they were found after some kind of police contact.
If you have been charged with a drug possession offense, you now know that possession of any drug except Marijuana is a felony. Delivery of those drugs, or Possession with intent to deliver (called a “P-wid”) is an even more severe felony. As bad as things may seem right now, there is always a silver lining to any cloud, and, to use one of my favorite phrases, with a little effort and hard work, things can be worked out to not be nearly as bad as they might seem.
If you have no prior drug record, then your situation just got a lot better. There is a section of Michigan law, known as “7411” (Click here for the official listing ) that allows a person with no prior drug record to work out a deal, in either a possession case, or one which can be reduced to possession, which keeps the entire case off their record. This means that they are never convicted of the offense, and when filling out a job application, can safely say that they have no convictions (at least as far as this case goes). Beyond keeping the drug crime off your record, you avoid most the penalties that go with it, including the driver’s license suspension and the fees associated with that.
Of course, part of this deal is that you will be placed on probation, and drug testing will be required as part of that probation. Still, if a mistake in judgment leads to a drug charge that would otherwise stick, this is truly like a “get out of jail free” card in the game Monopoly.
If you have a prior drug crime on your record, then the focus changes from keeping this off your record to keeping you out of jail, and if possible, keeping you out of all kinds of drug education and/or rehab programs. To do this, the handling of your case needs to take into account not only facts about you, but the court in which your case is being heard, and the Judge before whom you will be appearing. Again, this is why I limit my practice to the same courts in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne County.
One of the most important things a person can do when faced with a second offense is to understand the importance of drug treatment, or counseling. The plain truth is that unless the whole case goes away, that person is going to be ordered into counseling or treatment anyway, so why not get a head start that can help your case so much? Beyond that, I help my clients explore their options for treatment based upon their needs, what kind of money they have (or, as is so often the case in today’s economy, DON”T have) and what kind of schedule they need. To put it another way, if you haven’t gotten yourself into some kind of accredited counseling by the time the Judge sentences you, you are going to be ordered to attend wherever the court tells you to go, and the limitations of your schedule, insurance or money problems aren’t part of that order. If you get on this from the start, you can select a place that will see you as often, or as little as you need, and work with whatever you can or cannot pay. I can help with this, and it will have a huge payoff for the better outcome of your case.