The Definition of ”Distributing Drugs” May Be Broader than Most Realize under Michigan Law
August 31, 2016
by The Law Office of Steven L. Schwartz
When most people think of someone selling drugs, they think of someone on a street corner making profitable deals with strangers. However, the statutes in Michigan that prohibit the delivery of controlled substances do not distinguish among selling, delivering, manufacturing, or even giving away for no financial remuneration.
It is a commonly held belief that someone who is giving out “samples” of a drug, or someone who is sharing a personal stash with friends, is not “dealing.” However, under MCL 333.7401, the law is clear that “manufacturing, creating, delivering, or possessing with intent to manufacture, create, or deliver controlled substance” are all illegal. Nowhere does the statutory text mention money.
Of course, judges are human, and it is not likely that someone who passes a joint to a stranger is likely going to get convicted of “delivering” a controlled substance. However, a Michigan man’s arrest at an Ohio music festival shows that someone doesn’t need to receive money in order to be charged with distribution of narcotics.
Man Arrested for Handing Out Drugs at a Music Festival
Earlier this month, a Michigan man was arrested and charged with distributing drugs after he was found to be handing out small candy packets containing THC-laced candy at an Ohio music festival. According to one local news source covering the man’s arrest, there were no deaths or serious injuries, but several people experienced symptoms after eating the candy.
According to the report, the man was located at the concert venue with the help from several witnesses, who explained to police what the candies looked like. When he was arrested, he had a bag with matching candies inside. Apparently, the candies contained a very high level of THC, the mind-altering chemical in marijuana.
After his arrest, the man was charged with felony drug trafficking charges. Since the arrest was recent, the outcome of the case is yet to be determined.
Michigan Drug Offenses
In Michigan, it is illegal to possess any of several enumerated controlled narcotics, including marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and PCP. Simple possession is a misdemeanor offense. However, that very same possession can quickly turn into a felony offense if the police or prosecutors believe that there is an intent to deliver the narcotics. This is where a dedicated Michigan criminal defense attorney can come in handy to help convince a judge or jury that possession was for personal use, rather than for distribution.
There are many other methods of defending against a drug distribution charge, including a motion to suppress physical evidence or establishing a lack of constructive possession.
Have You Been Arrested for a Michigan Drug Crime?
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested and charged with a Michigan drug offense, you should seek out the counsel of Attorney Steven Schwartz. Attorney Schwartz has decades of experience representing clients in all kind of criminal matters, including those alleging the distribution of narcotics. He understands how prosecutors and judges think, and he will do everything he can to defend you. Call (248) 266-8720 to set up a free consultation today.
- Pilot Program for Road-Side Drug Tests Approved for Use in Several Michigan Counties, Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, published July 15, 2016.
- Woman Convicted of Second-Degree Murder for Death of Her Daughter after DUI Accident, Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, published August 15, 2016.