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Exceptions to Michigan’s drug possession laws

A conviction on a drug possession charge can lead to serious consequences in Michigan. Depending on the drug and quantity involved, these consequences can include prison, fines, and damage to one’s reputation. As scary as that may sound, there are defense options available to those who are accused of illegal possession of a controlled substance. Some of these defenses arise from exception in the state’s drug laws.

Michigan law has carved out exceptions to the laws regarding illegal possession of a narcotic or other drug. For example, those who are under the age of 21 and require medical assistance due to a drug overdose or due to complications arising from the use of a controlled substance cannot be charged with illegal possession if the basis for the charge is obtained during the medical treatment.

Although this sounds like a big exception, it is key to note that the law does not prevent law enforcement authorities from investigating other crimes that may have occurred. Therefore, those who are taken to the hospital for treatment of a drug overdose may find police officers overstepping their bounds. They may claim that they are investigating or arresting an individual for another alleged offense, but it may really be related to drugs.

When this happens, accused individuals need to be sure to take action to protect their legal rights. A criminal defense attorney can advise defendants about the law, how it applies to them, and possible defenses. Depending on the facts, it is often possible to get evidence suppressed and charges dropped.

 

Source: Michigan Legislature, “Mich. Comp. Laws § 333.7403,” accessed on Jan. 20, 2017

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