If you are charged with Possession of Methamphetamine in Livonia, Michigan, you need the help of an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney. I can provide you with nearly 20 years of experience and a willingness to fight and take cases to trial.
Possession of Methamphetamine is a class D felony that carries up to 10 years in prison (120 months). If you are arrested and charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, your first court appearance will be an arraignment in the 16th District Court in Livonia, Michigan. Learn more about an arraignment now. At the arraignment, your case will be scheduled for a probable cause conference and a preliminary examination. Bond will also be addressed at the arraignment. The probable cause conference must be scheduled within 7 to 14 days of the arraignment with the preliminary examination scheduled within 5 to 7 days after the probable cause conference.
Following the preliminary examination, further proceedings are held in the Wayne County Circuit Court at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. If there is virtually any evidence supporting the prosecutor's case, it is extremely likely that the matter will be bound over in the district court. Nonetheless, I almost always challenge cases at the preliminary examination because it is the best opportunity that the defense is presented for challenging the evidence and developing the facts that will support defenses in the circuit court. DO NOT WAIVE THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION WITHOUT MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION.
The charge of Possession of Methamphetamine is detailed in the Michigan compiled laws, MCL 333.7403(2)(b)(i). The provisions of MCL 333.7403 state:
(1) A person shall not knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance, a controlled substance analogue, or a prescription form unless the controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, or prescription form was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of the practitioner's professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this article.
(2) A person who violates this section as to:
(a) A controlled substance classified in schedule 1 or 2 that is a narcotic drug or a drug described in section 7214(a)(iv), and:
(i) Which is in an amount of 1,000 grams or more of any mixture containing that substance is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years or a fine of not more than $1,000,000.00, or both.
(ii) Which is in an amount of 450 grams or more, but less than 1,000 grams, of any mixture containing that substance is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 30 years or a fine of not more than $500,000.00, or both.
(iii) Which is in an amount of 50 grams or more, but less than 450 grams, of any mixture containing that substance is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $250,000.00, or both.
(iv) Which is in an amount of 25 grams or more, but less than 50 grams of any mixture containing that substance is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $25,000.00, or both.
(v) Which is in an amount less than 25 grams of any mixture containing that substance is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $25,000.00, or both.
(b) Either of the following:
(i) A substance described in section 7212(1)(h) or 7214(c)(ii) is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $15,000.00, or both.
(ii) A controlled substance classified in schedule 1, 2, 3, or 4, except a controlled substance for which a penalty is prescribed in subdivision (a), (b)(i), (c), or (d), or a controlled substance analogue is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(c) Lysergic acid diethylamide, peyote, mescaline, dimethyltryptamine, psilocyn, psilocybin, or a controlled substance classified in schedule 5 is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(d) Marihuana is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(e) A prescription form is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.
(3) If an individual was sentenced to lifetime probation under subsection (2)(a)(iv) as it existed before March 1, 2003 and the individual has served 5 or more years of that probationary period, the probation officer for that individual may recommend to the court that the court discharge the individual from probation. If an individual's probation officer does not recommend discharge as provided in this subsection, with notice to the prosecutor, the individual may petition the court seeking resentencing under the court rules. The court may discharge an individual from probation as provided in this subsection. An individual may file more than 1 motion seeking resentencing under this subsection.
Possession of Methamphetamine under Michigan sentencing guidelines is scored under crimes involving a controlled substance (CS). Under the guidelines, a person who is convicted of Possession of Methamphetamine with no prior record and no aggravating factors looks to the low end of the guidelines which call for up to 6 months. With no prior criminal record but horrible facts, the defendant can face 23 months. With a terrible criminal record and terrible facts, the accused can be looking at 76 months under the guidelines.
The jury instructions set forth the following elements for Possession of Methamphetamine that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecuting attorney:
M Crim JI 12.5 Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance
(1) The defendant is charged with the crime of knowingly or intentionally possessing [(state weight) of a mixture containing] a controlled substance, ______________________. To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(2) First, that the defendant possessed a controlled substance.
(3) Second, that the substance possessed was _______________________.
(4) Third, that the defendant knew that [he / she] was possessing [list substance].
[(5) Fourth, that the substance was in a mixture that weighed (state weight).]
[(6) Fifth, that the substance was not obtained by a valid prescription given to the defendant.]
[(7) Sixth, that the defendant was not otherwise authorized to possess this substance.]
I can't emphasize enough how important it is to focus on the jury instructions while preparing a defense to the offense of Possession of Methamphetamine. While there are a number of defenses to Possession of Methamphetamine that we can explore during a consultation, the elements contained in M Crim JI 12.5 provide a roadmap for defending the case. This is true in almost every single case, and really great defense attorneys focus early on these jury instructions.
As a cautionary note, you might be completely innocent but still face criminal charges. Even worse, you might be denied bail, forced to spend months in jail before you are vindicated. I have seen many cases where a truly innocent client is baffled, angry and scared, completely unable to understand why police and prosecutors are gunning to get a conviction. So long as probable cause is established at the preliminary examination, then the matter will be bound over for trial in the 3rd Circuit Court for the County of Wayne and further proceedings will be held in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. This is why it is so important that you contact an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney to help you defend against criminal charges in the 16th District Court.
*represents an aberration under the guidelines that might result in county jail time or violate the 2/3rd maximum minimum rules under the guidelines, which is something that must be discussed with your attorney.