Possession of a controlled substance is a serious criminal offense. However, it is likely the most common of any criminal charge due to the drug epidemic sweeping our nation today. Sentencing guidelines and drug classifications for these crimes vary from state-to-state.
Defenses exist to drug possession charges, but the defenses that apply to a particular case will greatly depend on the facts of the relevant matter. Not all defenses apply to all cases. Here we will discuss several general drug possession defenses that may be used as an introduction to this otherwise complex area of criminal law.
Police officers in the nearby Michigan community of Dowagiac recently arrested two individuals after stopping their vehicle and searching them and their property. Apparently the officers involved in the matter spotted the driver of the vehicle and recognized him as an individual with a warrant out for his arrest. Incidental to their arrest of the driver on the outstanding warrant and the arrest of his passenger for a parole violation, the officers searched the vehicle and allegedly found illegal drugs therein.
Two people have been arrested after police raided a home in Porter Township, Michigan, less than an hour outside Kalamazoo. Police searched the home on the evening of February 7 and allegedly found meth, marijuana, prescription drugs and firearms. There was also reportedly evidence of a meth lab in the home.
Investigators in Van Buren County, Michigan, recently busted an indoor marijuana growing cultivation in the area and had reason to believe that some of the suspects would be found in Bangor, about 40 minutes outside Kalamazoo. An FBI agent and narcotics detectives carried out another marijuana raid on January 24.
Acting on a tip, officers from the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit obtained a search warrant and raided a home. The raid took place in Gobles on Dec. 18. It resulted in the seizure of a pound of marijuana.
The Drug Enforcement Agency is being petitioned by several states to reclassify marijuana to a less-restrictive class of drugs. This could have an impact on people in Michigan who are accused of crimes related to marijuana cultivation, distribution or use, particularly those who use it for medicinal purposes.
Why would a Michigan police officer want to search a pickup driven by an 87-year-old man only detained for following another vehicle too closely and an improper lane change? No doubt an 87-year-old man does not usually fit the typical drug offender profile. This may be one of the many questions that will need to be investigated after an incident near Ann Arbor led to the filing of federal drug charges against an elderly man from Michigan City, Indiana was pulled over by officers.
Drug crimes are serious offenses in Michigan and elsewhere, and they should not be taken lightly. A conviction for even a misdemeanor can lead to losing your license or negatively impact the chance at pursuing college or employment. Felony marijuana crimes for distributing or growing marijuana can lead to prison time and hefty fines.