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How to Fight Drug Distribution Charges in Michigan

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Drug distribution charges, or possession with intent to distribute on the state level, is one of the most serious crimes in Michigan’s criminal justice system. Facing charges for distributing drugs? This article covers how to fight them.

These charge holds serious penalties, which include up to life in prison, a $1 million fine, asset forfeiture, loss of driving privileges, and much more.

The purchase, sale or distribution of drugs in large quantities that exceeds personal use is much more serious than simple drug possession charges.

The quantity of drugs that is classified as distribution changes based on the drug’s classification.

Facing drug charges? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.

How Drug Distribution Charges are Classified

Controlled substances are classified into schedules based on their danger of addiction and dependence, ranging from schedule 1 (Heroin, Ecstasy) to Schedule 5 (prescription drugs).

Schedule 1 controlled substances carry the most serious penalties and are classified as illegal drugs that have a high potential for abuse.

Drug distribution charges and charges for distribution drugs

For these charges, the maximum sentence if found guilty is life in prison and/or a $1 million fine.

Whereas Schedule 5 controlled substances are defined as having the lowest potential for abuse and carry the lowest penalties.

Regardless, even the lowest drug distribution charge carried a maximum punishment of two (2) years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.

Other Penalties

Regardless of the type of drug, your assets may be seized by law enforcement as a result of a controlled substance charge.

Most commonly, vehicles and cash are seized in connection with arrest(s) related to controlled substances.

Federal drug trafficking charges may result in mandatory minimum prison sentences up to 25 years without the possibility of probation or parole.

Additionally, a conviction for drug trafficking can result in the suspension of drivers license for up to one (1) year.

Hiring a Skilled Lawyer is The Best Way to Stay Out of Jail

The best way to avoid jail time for drug distribution charges is to have solid representation.

The laws are complex and constantly changing.

Having someone who can navigate the legal landscape is vital to your freedom.

Even if you just suspect that you’re being investigated, now is the time to hire skilled representation.

The facts of every case are unique and require a detailed review.

Each and every statement you make will be used against you.

When you hire a drug trafficking defense attorney, they’ll make sure law enforcement didn’t violate your rights and that all evidence was handled properly.

Facing charges for distributing drugs? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.


Do not consent to a search of your vehicle, person, or property without a warrant.

If the police are asking you for consent to search, it’s a good indication that they don’t have probable cause for a search.

Don’t give up your constitutional protections; it’s important to have an attorney review all of the facts related to a search.

Similarly, the police can’t rely on any evidence seized as the result of an illegal search.

A knowledgeable attorney will identify problems with a police search and address them with the court to suppress any illegally obtained evidence.

Search issues can include a lack of probable cause for the search or a defective search warrant.

Evidence seized through an illegal search is considered the fruit of a poisonous tree,” and is therefore excluded.

If the prosecutor is left without any evidence, your case can very well be dismissed.

Remain Silent

No matter how smart you are, no one can talk their way out of an arrest.

It’s best to remain silent and request an attorney when arrested.

Cases where the defendant makes a statement after arrest have a much higher rate of conviction in court than cases where the defendant remains silent.

However, if you didn’t remain silent during your arrest, you absolutely need to hire a skilled drug crimes attorney.

Don’t Wait to be Arrested For Drug Distribution Charges

If you suspect you’re being investigated, call a lawyer immediately.

Investigations into drug distribution can last from a few days to a few years.

Testing Procedures

The prosecution must prove that what they seized is actually an illegal substance.

A skilled lawyer will review the procedures used for testing, including the chain of custody of the evidence (i.e. the timeline that records the movement of evidence).

Evidence that isn’t properly tested and properly handled can be excluded from your case.


Often times, witnesses and informants are used in drug cases. Credibility of the witnesses and/or informants is always relevant to your case. Therefore, witness statements must be thoroughly investigated and challenged where appropriate. A good attorney will investigate all witness statements and evaluate their credibility.

Should You Go to Trial For Drug Distribution Charges?

Your attorney should determine if trial is the best way to avoid jail time in your case.

After reviewing all of the information related to your case, trial may be your best option.

However, trial isn’t always your best option.

This is why you need an attorney who knows when you should or should not go to trial.

Plea Bargains and Sentencing Agreements

If the evidence in your case suggests that pleading guilty is in your best interest, you need your lawyer to negotiate the best possible deal that avoids or significantly reduces jail time.

This plea agreement can also contain a sentencing agreement that eliminates or limits any jail time as well.

Cobbs Agreement

Sometimes, a Cobbs agreement is the best way to avoid jail time.

This is an agreement with the judge regarding what your sentence would be if you pleaded guilty.

If the judge decides they can’t honor the agreement at sentencing, you can withdraw your plea.

Fighting Charges For Distributing Drugs

By hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney, you’ll avoid spending unnecessary time in jail.

To get the best results, your attorney should protect your rights and raise all potential defense strategies.

Establishing a defense is based on the unique facts and circumstances of your case, which can only happen when you hire an experienced drug distribution charge attorney.

Facing charges for distributing drugs? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.


Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
author avatar
Michael Norman
Michael Norman is the firm’s managing attorney, with experience as a trial attorney practicing both civil and criminal litigation.
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