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October 30 2013
October 14 2013
Michigan Drug Crime Attorneys - Lesser Known Drug Crimes
There are other Michigan drug crimes that do not involve simply using or delivering illegal drugs.
These other drug crimes all deal with specific situations where defendants come into contact with contraband drugs, controlled drug items, or even prescription drugs. 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 attorney right away.
In Michigan, it is illegal to “maintain a drug house.” There are two scenarios that are considered “maintaining a drug house.” First is when somebody keeps or maintains a store, building, or vehicle where they know people go to use controlled substances illegally. Second is when somebody keeps or maintains a store, building, or vehicle where they are illegally keeping or selling controlled substances.
If the defendant is not charged with the crime of “Maintaining a Drug House,” they still may be penalized by the State of Michigan have to pay a civil fine of up to $25,000. If the defendant 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 called a misdemeanor, yet is punishable by up to 2 years in prison and is handled procedurally just like a felony case.
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing, Oakland County, or throughout Michigan, an aggressive criminal defense attorney is probably in your best interest!
Sentencing for felony crimes in Michigan depends partially on the defendant’s previous criminal convictions. In one recent Michigan case, the defendant argued that his prior record of a conviction for “Maintaining a Drug House” should be considered as a misdemeanor and not a felony since prior misdemeanors hurt the defendant less than felony convictions during the sentencing phase of a case. However, the court ruled that because it was a “high crime misdemeanor,” it was as if he had a felony on his record. This conviction was used against him in determining his sentence.
If you have been charged with “Maintaining a Drug House,” you need a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in Michigan drug crime cases. At Kronzek & Cronkright, we aggressively fight convictions for all drug crimes. Call us at 1-(866)-766-5245 to discuss your case.
Not only is it illegal to own, use, or provide a vehicle, building, or equipment when you know or have reason to know that somebody is using, storing, or selling illegal drugs there (see the crime of "Maintaining a Drug House"), but it is also illegal to do so if you know it is being used as a location to manufacture certain substances. These substances include:
1. Illegal drugs, such as Heroin, or Ecstasy, but not Cocaine or Marijuana ,
2. “Counterfeit substances”
3. Analogue drugs
If you are charged with this crime, it is a felony and you could go to prison for up to 10 years or pay a fine of up to $100,000, or both. However, there are some factors that, if involved in your crime, could make your sentence more severe. If you “Operate or Maintain a Controlled Substance Laboratory”:
1. …in front of a minor, 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.
2. …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.
3. …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.
4. …that involves a firearm or another 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.
5. …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.
Something that is difficult and unique about the crime of “Operating or Maintaining a Controlled Substance Laboratory” is that the Michigan sentence for this crime could be served consecutively to the defendant’s sentence for any other crimes that were charged relating to the very same illegal activity. For example, the accused could be sentenced for use, possession, delivery, or manufacture of methamphetamine plus be sentenced for up to 20 years and $25,000 for “Operating or Maintaining a Controlled Substance Laboratory” involving methamphetamine, and the defendant could have to add up both of those sentences and serve time for both of them.
In a recent Michigan case, the defendant was charged with “Operating or Maintaining a Controlled Substance Laboratory” when police found shredded cold medication boxes, coffee filters with traces of ephedrine, rubber gloves, a wire scrubber, lithium batteries, a receipt for Coleman lantern fuel, and a large baggie with the bottom torn out, which are commonly used done to manufacture methamphetamine. The defendant argued that many people have most of those common items in their homes and that was not enough evidence to convict him of manufacturing methamphetamine. However, the court found there was sufficient evidence to conclude he was “Operating or Maintaining a Controlled Substance Laboratory” in his home.
The seriousness of this crime is obvious when you see the possible amount of prison time a defendant may have to serve. What you need is an experienced, skilled criminal defense attorney to help defend your Constitutional rights in court. At Kronzek & Cronkright, we regularly defend drug cases. Call us at 1-(866)-766-5245 to discuss your case.
Michigan law defines a “prescription form” as a physician’s authorized printed prescription pad or form that they use to prescribe controlled substances and other drugs. To be valid, it must include: the physician’s name, contact information, signature, and drug enforcement registration number; the patient’s name and contact information; the amount of drugs prescribed; and the date of the prescription. It is a crime for a non-physician to manufacture or deliver an official prescription form. If convicted of this crime, the defendant is guilty of a felony and could go to prison for up to 7 years or pay a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
It is also a crime for a non-physician to manufacture or deliver a counterfeit prescription form. A “counterfeit prescription form” is similar to a doctor’s official prescription form, but it was created, forged, transmitted, or altered without the physician’s permission. If convicted of this crime in Michigan, the convicted person could go to prison for up to 7 years or pay a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Even possessing a counterfeit prescription form is illegal. Conviction of this crime subjects the defendant to prison for up to 4 years or payment of a fine of up to $30,000, or both.
In one interesting Michigan “prescription form” case, the defendant was a licensed psychiatrist in Michigan who had authorization to prescribe controlled substances. His girlfriend worked for him and she was not authorized to prescribe controlled substances. The girlfriend would meet with the defendant’s patients for weekly counseling sessions and she would use the defendant’s official “prescription form” to prescribe controlled substances to the patients. The defendant was found guilty of delivering a” prescription form” for an illegal purpose.
When you have been charged with a crime relating to a “prescription form,” conviction may result in significant prison time even if you were not caught with any drugs. It is important to hire an attorney who has many years of experience defending drug cases in nearly every county in Michigan. Call Kronzek & Cronkright at 1-(866)-766-5245 to confidentially discuss your case.
Similar to using a prescription form to illegally obtain a controlled substance, it is also illegal in Michigan to “Obtain a Controlled Substance by Fraud.” This can mean a few things:
1. Distributing Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drugs in any other way but by a physician with an official “prescription form”
2. Using a fake, revoked, or suspended DEA license number when manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance
3. Getting a controlled substance using misrepresentation, fraud, or forgery
4. Filing false reports or applications when the government requires those documents
5. Making, possessing, or distributing an instrument that imprints an identifying mark on a drug, drug container, or drug label.
“Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud” is a felony and can result in prison for up to 4 years or a fine of up to $30,000, or both. This crime is one that can affect even pharmaceutical companies, drug manufacturers, licensed pharmacists or physicians. It can also affect prescription drug addicts going to multiple doctors and lying in order to be prescribed the same medication, which is referred to as “doctor shopping.”
An example of a case about this crime in Michigan was a 2008 case where a pharmacist noticed that an “ES” (for “Extra Strength”) had been crammed in on a prescription form after the word Vicodin. The physician’s assistant who wrote the prescription testified that she only prescribed the defendant regular Vicodin and not Vicodin ES. The defendant patient was herself a nurse and would have known about the existence of Vicodin ES. The court determined that there was enough evidence to show that the defendant added the “ES” herself and she was convicted of “Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud.”
At Kronzek & Cronkright, we fight for people all over Michigan that have been accused of drug crimes in state and in federal court. Our team of trusted, confidential, and experienced attorneys can be on your side. We have fought for our drug charge clients all over Michigan in state and federal courts. Call us at 1-(866)-766-5245 to discuss your case.
Just like the crime of “Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud”, the Drug Licensee Crimes affect pharmaceutical companies, drug manufacturers, pharmacists, and physicians. 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 various ways Drug Licensee crimes can be committed. 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 against the law in Michigan (see the drug crime “Maintaining a Drug House.) 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 can be a drug manufacturing company or pharmacy that does not allow government inspectors into their building.
Pharmacists in Michigan cannot dispense prescriptions for controlled substances written by out-of-state physicians unless 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. These crimes are “high court misdemeanors,” which are crimes that are referred to as misdemeanors, yet are punishable by up to 2 years in prison and are handled procedurally just like a felony case. The defendant may also have to pay a fine of up to $25,000 if they have been charged with a Drug Licensee crime.
Pharmacists and physicians who have been charged with a drug crime face tough penalties, including losing their professional license. Society trusts doctors and are accused of conducting illegal activity involving controlled substances, Michigan prosecutors take that very seriously. At Kronzek & Cronkright, we represent all types of people who have been charged with drug crimes, ranging from illicit drug dealers to prescription medication addicts to pharmacists and physicians. Call us at 1-(866)-766-5245 to discuss your case.
An “imitation controlled substance” is a substance that is not a controlled substance or a prescription drug, yet because of its appearance or representations made, a reasonable person would believe it is a controlled substance. When it comes to appearance, perhaps the “imitation controlled substance” or its label is the same shape, color, markings, or size of a certain controlled substance. When it comes to representations made, perhaps the defendant: (1) stated that this substance is, or is similar to, a controlled substance; (2) stated that selling the substance would be profitable; or (3) 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.” Doing so is a felony in Michigan and the convicted defendant could go to prison for up to 2 years or a fine of up to $10,000, or both. It is also illegal under Michigan law to use or possess with intent to use an “imitation controlled substance.” 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 court costs. However, the second, third, or subsequent time they are caught using or possessing with intent to use an “imitation controlled substance,” that is a misdemeanor and they could go to jail for up to 90 days or pay a fine of up to $100, or both. It is illegal in Michigan to advertise the sale of an “imtation controlled substance” in any media. Doing so is a misdemeanor and conviction could result in jail for up to 1 year or pay a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
This crime can best be explained by giving an example. In a recent Michigan case, the defendants wanted to illegally purchase a large amount of Marijuana. However, they did not have enough money to buy the full amount, so they worked out a deal with the seller that they would pay a certain amount for the Marijuana and then supplement the rest of the cost by giving the seller an ounce of what appeared to be Crack Cocaine. Unfortunately for the defendants, the seller was actually an undercover police officer. They were charged with the Marijuana crimes, but also with “Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute an ‘Imitation Controlled Substance,’” because the substance they said was Cocaine was not actually Cocaine at all.
It seems counterintuitive that a person could get in trouble for a drug that is not actually an illegal substance in and of itself. However, if a person did use, possess, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to use or distribute a drug that they think is illegal, it falls under this crime. At Kronzek & Cronkright, we are successful criminal defense attorneys. We work hard for our clients and get proven results. We practice all over Michigan and will aggressively defend you. Call us at 1-(866)-766-5245 to discuss your case.
While “imitation controlled substances” are ones that appear to be a controlled substance but are actually not, “counterfeit substances” are controlled substances that, without authorization, bear the trade name or identifying mark of a drug manufacturer, distributor, or dispenser other than the person who in fact manufactured, distributed, or dispensed the substance.
In Michigan, it is illegal to create, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to deliver a “counterfeit substance.” A sentence for this crime depends in part on which category of drug the “counterfeit substance” falls under:p>If the “counterfeit substance” is a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drug that is a narcotic drug (such as Heroin), or if the “counterfeit substance” is Ecstasy, Cocaine, or Methamphetamine, that is a felony and the suspect could go to prison for up to 10 years or 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, (such as Marijuana or the prescription drug Vicodin), that is a felony and 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.
If the “counterfeit substance” is a Schedule 5 drug, that is a felony and the convicted defendant could go to prison for up to 2 years or pay a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
In the early 2000’s, a counterfeit version of the AIDS drug Serostim was found circulating in Michigan and a few other states. The counterfeit version was similar in appearance and packaging to the real drug and even used an authentic lot number on the boxes. The drug’s manufacturer warned AIDS organizations and pharmacies because AIDS patients risked getting sick without their real medication. Why would someone go to such lengths to create an elaborate fake? It could be because they want to see people get sick, but it is more likely because they can make a profit from their scheme.
As you can imagine, the reason “counterfeit substances” are illegal is because it is dangerous to represent that a drug comes from somewhere safe, even if it does not. If you have been charged with a “counterfeit substance” crime, you need a criminal defense attorney immediately. The attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright have dealt with these cases before and we know what it takes to effectively fight drug crime accusations in Michigan. We fight in state court and in federal court. Call us at 1-(866)-766-5245 to discuss your case.
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 to increase the potency of drugs, sifters, “crack pipes,” “snorters,” “automotive safes,” and specialized glass tubes or spoons used to vaporize or ingest drugs.
It is illegal in Michigan to offer for sale “drug paraphernalia” knowing that it will be used to plant, grow, manufacture, process, analyze, pack, or ingest a controlled substance. However, 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” and that if they stop doing so, 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 “Sale of Drug Paraphernalia”. This is a misdemeanor, and they could go to jail for up to 90 days or pay a fine of up to $5,000, or both. And, if they offer to sell the “drug paraphernalia” to someone under 18 years old, they could be charged with a misdemeanor and go to jail for up to 1 year or pay 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 (rather than the sale of drug paraphernalia) is a separate crime that is usually illegal under local ordinances.
In 2005, there was a Michigan case involving “Sale of Drug Paraphernalia” in Alpena County. A man operated a store where he sold items such as hats, rock and roll memorabilia, and black-light wall hangings. An undercover drug officer visited the store and reported back to his superiors that the store was selling “drug paraphernalia.” The Alpena County Prosecutor sent the man two letters telling him to stop selling the following items: “dugouts,” “one-hitters,” “bongs,” “bowls,” metallic scales, Cocaine kits, “snorters,” and specialized spoons. The court decided that most of those items were “drug paraphernalia” and the man would have to stop selling them or face prosecution.
If you have been served a notice to stop selling “drug paraphernalia,” it is imperative that you hire a defense lawyer right away. An attorney can help you file an action that will decide whether the equipment you are selling is actually illegal “drug paraphernalia.” It would be ideal to file this action before you are arrested and the police take away the drug merchandise you possess. At Kronzek & Cronkright, we deal with federal and state drug cases every day. We know what it takes to defend your Constitutional rights in Michigan. Call us at 1-(866)-766-5245 to discuss your case.
Sometimes, a person does not want to risk getting caught by the police in Michigan for committing a drug crime. Yet, they still want to get their hands on some drugs illegally so they try to get another person to commit a drug crime on their behalf. This 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.
However, there are special penalties for a situation when someone who is 17 years old or older solicits someone under 17 years old to commit a felony drug crime (except for when it is a Marijuana crime). In that case, the defendant may have to pay the full fine authorized by the drug crime. They will also mandatorily be imprisoned for at least half of the maximum term authorized by the drug crime; however, if the drug crime the defendant solicited the minor to commit was to manufacture, create, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture, create, or deliver 1,000 grams or more of a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 narcotic drug or Cocaine, the defendant will mandatorily receive life in prison. These “solicitation” crimes involving minors are not subject to probation or a delayed sentence. The mandatory prison sentences may only be changed if the judge finds there are substantial and compelling reasons to change them.
That is where having the right attorney comes in. Your attorney might argue to the judge that there are compelling reasons as to why you should not be imprisoned for so long for your drug crime solicitation of a minor. It is clear that “solicitation” is taken just as seriously as if the defendant had committed the actual drug crime. Kronzek & Cronkright regularly defends drug charges all over Michigan. We will aggressively fight for your rights in court.
Sometimes, defendants try to do something that would be considered a drug crime, but for one reason or another, they do not actually finish the crime. An example of this would be if a defendant tried to produce Cocaine, but a frost came and destroyed all the plants and no Cocaine was ever produced. Another example of this would be if a defendant tried to “cook” Methamphetamine, 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 very harsh.
Hiring a knowledgeable, experienced attorney for an Attempt drug crime is necessary because defenses do exist. At Kronzek & Cronkright, we are hard-hitting attorneys who are known for aggressively defending our clients. Call us at 1-(866)-766-5245 to discuss your case. Our defense attorneys have extensive training in fighting drug crime charges. Our track record reflects our results all over Michigan.
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