Lesser Known Drug Crimes
In addition to the many charges that involve the use, production or sale of illegal drugs, there are a number of other drug crime charges that deal with specific situations where people come into contact with drugs or drug related paraphernalia. These crimes can be just as serious as any other drug crime, and it is vital that if you have been charged with any of these drug crimes, you hire an aggressive experienced drug crime attorney right away.
Maintaining a Drug House
In Michigan, it is against the law to “Maintain a Drug House”. There are two scenarios where someone could be accused of this crime. The first is when somebody keeps or maintains a store, building, or vehicle where they know people go to use controlled substances illegally. The second is when somebody keeps or maintains a store, building, or vehicle where they are illegally keeping or selling controlled substances.
If someone is charged with the crime of Maintaining a Drug House, they may be guilty of a “high court misdemeanor” or have to pay a criminal fine of up to $25,000, or both. A high court misdemeanor is a crime that is labeled as a misdemeanor, but is punishable by up to 2 years in prison. Procedurally, this crime would be handled just like a felony case.
Maintaining a Controlled Substance Laboratory
Similar to a Maintaining a Drug House charge, Maintaining a Controlled Substance Laboratory refers to a person who keeps or maintains a store, building, or vehicle where they or others manufacture drugs.
Under Michigan law, this would apply to any illegal lab used to produce illegal drugs like meth, heroin or ecstasy, and also analogue and “counterfeit substances.” This does not apply, however, to cocaine or marijuana.
Those convicted of this crime can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, and be required to pay fines of up to $100,000. However, there are certain factors that, when involved in your case, could result in a more severe sentence.
If you Operate or Maintain a Controlled Substance Laboratory…
…in front of a minor, this is a felony and you could go to prison for up to 20 years or pay a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
…that involves hazardous waste, that is a felony and you could go to prison for up to 20 years or pay a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
…within 500 feet of a residence, business, school, or church, that is a felony and you could go to prison for up to 20 years or pay a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
…that involves a firearm or other device intended to hurt another person, that is a felony and you could go to prison for up to 25 years or pay a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
…that involves methamphetamine, that is a felony and you could go to prison for up to 20 years or pay a fine of up to $25,000, or both up to $30,000, or both.
Drug Licensee Crimes
Drug Licensee Crimes affect pharmaceutical companies, drug manufacturers, pharmacists, and physicians. Under state law, these people are legally allowed to handle and distribute prescription drugs. However if they do so in an unauthorized manner, they can be charged with a crime.
There are a number of ways that Drug Licensee Crimes can be committed. For example, in Michigan, it is illegal to manufacture a drug that you are not authorized by your license to manufacture. It is also illegal to prescribe or dispense a drug that your license does not authorize, even if you are prescribing or dispensing it to another licensed person.
Keeping or maintaining a store, vehicle, or building where drugs are stored or sold in a manner that is unauthorized is also against the law in Michigan This means that it is a crime to keep or maintain a pharmacy where you know the employees are handling drugs illegally.
Refusing entry to your facility for authorized inspection is illegal. This usually means a drug manufacturing company or pharmacy that does not allow authorized government inspectors into their building.
Another aspect of this law is the fact that pharmacists in Michigan cannot dispense prescriptions for controlled substances that are written by out-of-state physicians. The only exception to this law is when that out-of-state physician is licensed to practice medicine and to prescribe controlled substances in their own state.
People who break this law may only be required to pay a civil fine of $25,000. However it is possible that they may also be charged with one of these Drug Licensee crimes. All of these crimes are considered to be “high court misdemeanors,” which are crimes that are referred to as misdemeanors, but are treated as felonies.
In Michigan, high court misdemeanors are punishable by up to 2 years in prison. The defendant may also be required to pay a fine of up to $25,000 if they have been charged with a Drug Licensee crime.
Imitation Controlled Substance Crimes
An “imitation controlled substance” is any substance that is not a controlled substance, or a prescription drug, but due its appearance or representations made, a reasonable person would believe it to be a controlled substance.
With regard to appearance, the “imitation controlled substance” or its label may be the same shape, color, or size, and contain the same markings as a certain controlled substance. When it comes to representations made, the defendant may have stated that this substance is, or is similar to, a controlled substance. Alternatively, they may have stated that selling the substance would be profitable; or stated that the substance can be re-distributed to others as a controlled substance.
In Michigan, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute an “imitation controlled substance.” This is a felony, and anyone convicted of this crime could go to prison for up to 2 years, or be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000, or both. It is also illegal under Michigan law to use or possess an “imitation controlled substance” with the intention of using it.
The first time a person is caught using, or possessing with intent to use, an “imitation controlled substance,” they may have to pay a civil fine of up to $100, plus any court costs. However, any subsequent times that they are convicted of this crime, it will be charged as a misdemeanor and could result in jail time of up to 90 days or fines of up to $100, or both.
It is also illegal in Michigan to advertise the sale of an “imitation controlled substance” in any media. Doing so is a misdemeanor, and conviction could result in jail for up to 1 year or fines of up to $5,000, or both.
The term “counterfeit substances” refers to controlled substances that, without authorization, bear the trade name or identifying mark of a drug manufacturer, distributor, or dispenser. It also refers to “fake drugs” which, even if the substance in question is not illegal in itself, falsely representing it as a drug is against the law. For example, selling soap that you tell the customer is crack cocaine, or selling a bag of aspirin that you claim is ecstasy, would fall under the description of counterfeit substances.
In Michigan, it is illegal to create, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to deliver a counterfeit substance. The sentence for this type of crime depends in part on which category of drug the counterfeit substance falls under:
If the counterfeit substance is a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drug that is a narcotic like Heroin, or if it’s Ecstasy, Cocaine, or Methamphetamines, then this would be charged as a felony. The suspect could go to prison for up to 10 years, pay a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
If the counterfeit substance is a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drug that is non-narcotic, or a Schedule 3 drug like as Marijuana or the prescription drug Vicodin, this is also a felony. In this case the defendant could go to prison for up to 5 years or pay a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
If the counterfeit substance is a Schedule 4 drug, that is a felony and the defendant could go to prison for up to 4 years or pay a fine of up to $2,000, or both. However, if the counterfeit substance is a Schedule 5 drug, that is a felony and the convicted individual could go to prison for up to 2 years or pay a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
Sale of Drug Paraphernalia
Michigan law defines “drug paraphernalia” as: equipment, products, or materials specifically designed to plant, grow, manufacture, process, analyze, pack, or ingest a controlled substance. Typically, this includes weights, scales, devices used to increase the potency of drugs, automotive safes and sifters, which are used in the production and distribution of drugs. It also includes items like crack pipes, “snorters,” and specialized glass tubes or spoons used to vaporize or ingest drugs.
It is illegal in Michigan to offer drug paraphernalia for sale, knowing that it will be used to plant, grow, manufacture, process, analyze, pack, or ingest a controlled substance. However, the law states that before a person can be charged with this crime, the prosecutor must notify them at least 2 business days before their arrest, that they are selling “drug paraphernalia.” The notification will also tell them that if they stop selling the illegal items, they will not be arrested.
If the person stops selling the items, they cannot be charged with Sale of Drug Paraphernalia. However, if they do not stop selling the items, they will be charged with this crime which is a misdemeanor. Conviction of this crime could result in jail time for up to 90 days, fines of up to $5,000, or both.
Additionally, anyone offering to sell drug paraphernalia to someone under 18 years of age could be charged with a misdemeanor as well. This could mean going to jail for up to 1 year, paying a fine of up to $7,500, or both. This crime does not include the sale of medical equipment or supplies by a licensed distributor or medical professional. Also, the possession of drug paraphernalia, as opposed to the sale of drug paraphernalia, is a separate crime that is usually illegal under local ordinances.
Soliciting Drug Crimes
In instances where someone wants to acquire or sell illegal drugs, but doesn’t want to risk getting caught doing anything illegal, they may find someone else to “do the dirty work” for them. This, however, is still illegal, and is called “solicitation.” A person convicted of “Solicitation” of a drug crime can be charged with the same drug crime that he or she tried to get another person to commit.
In a situation where the person who was solicited to perform the crime is under the age of 17, the penalties may be more severe. For example, they will be required to pay the full fine, without exception, and they will automatically be sentenced to at least half of the maximum term authorized by the drug crime.
However, if the drug crime that the defendant solicited a minor to commit was to manufacture, create, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture 1,000 grams or more of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic drug or Cocaine, the defendant will automatically receive life in prison.
Attempting to Commit a Drug Crime
Sometimes, defendants try to do something that would be considered a drug crime, but for one reason or another, they are not actually able to finish the crime. One may assume that having not completed the crime might mean that no charges are brought, but this is incorrect.
Examples of this would be if a defendant tried to produce Cocaine, but a frost destroyed all the plants and no Cocaine was ever produced, or if a defendant tried to cook Meth, but before they could complete the process, their meth lab exploded.
In the end, it may not matter whether the defendant successfully completed the crime or not, because in Michigan, the sentence for attempting a drug crime is still very harsh.
Drug Crime Attorneys
If you or a loved one or family member have been accused of any drug crime, whether it is listed above on this page or not, you are going to need a skilled and experienced attorney on your side. At Kronzek & Cronkright, our attorneys have decades of combined experience fighting drug crimes. We also have a long history of getting very successful results for our clients.
So if you are facing a drug crime charge, don’t wait. Call us immediately. Your future is in jeopardy, and you are going to need top-of-the-line help to get it back.
CALL (800) 576-6035
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