Did you know that 12% of Americans regularly smoke marijuana? As more states legalize the plant, like Michigan, this number is only expected to increase. However, just because cannabis is recreationally legal doesn’t mean it’s an all-out free-for-all on the substance.
There are still laws in place about how people can use and sell cannabis. Certain infractions can carry an expensive fine or even jail time. If you’ve been caught breaking the law — whether by driving under the influence of illegal distribution — then you need a good Michigan marijuana lawyer.
In this article, we’ll be going over some of the Michigan weed laws and explaining how a lawyer can help you. Let’s get started!
What Are the Current Marijuana Violations in Michigan?
When the ‘Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act’ went into effect through a ballot proposal it became legal to privately use cannabis.
However, there are still strict rules in place surrounding the substance. In this section, we’ll briefly go over some of the laws and penalties surrounding marijuana in Michigan. For a more comprehensive analysis of the laws make sure to check out our full guide.
1) Possession or Use in a Public Place
You can only use marijuana from the privacy of your own home. As such, using or possessing the plant in public is illegal. Even improperly storing the plant at home by having it publicly visible isn’t allowed. The good news is that these fines are minor — typically no more than $100.
2) Minors Possessing Marijuana
If you’re under the age of 18, then it’s illegal to own marijuana. The official violation depends on what number of offenses you’re on. The first offense comes with a fine of $100 and four hours of drug education. The second offense comes with a fine of $500 and eight hours of drug education. In either case, you’ll be immediately required to forfeit any cannabis in your possession.
3) Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
It’s illegal to operate machinery under the influence of marijuana. However, the severity depends on which offense you’re on. The first offense comes with a fine of $250 and three hundred sixty hours of community service. You will also get your driver’s license restricted for thirty days and four points on your driving record.
The second offense comes with a fine of $500 and sixty days of community service. You will also face ninety-three days of incarceration and a suspension of your driver’s license for one to seven years.
4) Distributing Marijuana
The state of Michigan has made it illegal to distribute marijuana for cash or any other thing of value. The severity of the violation depends on the amount that you’re caught distributing. If it’s less than five kilograms, then you face a maximum prison sentence of four years and a fine of $20,000.
If it’s between five and forty-five kilograms, then you face a maximum prison sentence of seven years and a fine of $500,000. If it’s more than forty-five kilograms, then you face a maximum prison sentence of fifteen years and a fine of $100,000,000.
5) Manufacturing and Delivering Marijuana
Larger quantities of marijuana carry much more serious charges since it’s easier to charge you with intent to distribute. Typically, these charges are the same as the distribution violations.
However, they also include the illegal use of marijuana plants. Between twenty and two hundred plants can get you a maximum prison sentence of seven years and a fine of $500,000. Over two hundred plants can get you a maximum prison sentence of fifteen years and a fine of $100,000,000.
What Can a Michigan Marijuana Lawyer Do for You?
As you can see, just because recreational cannabis is legal doesn’t mean breaking the law can’t carry serious consequences. In some cases, these violations can be minor — like relatively small fines and community programs. It’s important to note that no matter how small the penalty, a marijuana violation will go on your criminal record.
If you want to fight these charges to keep it off your record, then that’s reason enough to find a lawyer that specializes in these cases. However, more serious violations will require a competent lawyer to handle them. The most serious marijuana crime you can be convicted of in Michigan is intent to distribute or manufacture the substance.
As we showed early, these charges carry with them expensive fines and considerable prison sentences. For example, if you’re caught with intent to distribute over 1,000 grams of a schedule one drug like marijuana, then you can face a lifetime in prison. If you’re charged with a serious offense like this, then a marijuana defense lawyer is your best bet of reducing the sentence.
These types of lawyers will often look at the way police obtained the evidence in question. In many cases, there may be constitutional issues with how this evidence was procured. For example, if the drug was obtained from a search without a warrant, then it’s unconstitutional. Any evidence that’s obtained through this type of unconstitutional, then it’s required to be thrown out.
This means that prosecutors will have little to nothing to convict you with. Marijuana lawyers in Michigan can also help individuals with past cannabis crimes from before it was legalized. Even though it’s legalized, it will remain on your criminal record. Luckily, if it was a minor possession case, then a lawyer can typically help you get it permanently expunged from your record.
Accused of a Cannabis Criminal Charge in Michigan? Contact the Dailey Law Firm, P.C.
We hope this article helped you learn more about what a Michigan marijuana lawyer can do to help you. Whether you’re facing prison time or just a mark on your permanent record, it’s important to do everything in your power to fight against it. But how do you find a Michigan defense lawyer that you can trust?
If you need a reliable one, then look further than Dailey Law Firm, P.C. We firmly believe that anyone convicted of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. That’s why we’ll fight to ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law. Contact us to schedule your free consultation today so we can begin fighting for you as soon as possible.