Use of marijuana is prohibited by MCL 333.7404(1). It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $100. If you are charged with use of marijuana, it is important that you contact a Michigan marijuana defense attorney right away.
In defending against a charge of use of marijuana, there are a number of issues that need to be explored. First, it is important to know whether the police found any marijuana in your possession, or in a place where you were located, such as a vehicle. If so, we need to look at whether there are any search and seizure issues. If the police searched your vehicle without your consent or a warrant, there may be an opportunity to move to suppress the evidence.
We also would need to explore whether you made statements to the police. If you made statements to the police, admitting to use of marijuana, the relevant questions will be whether you were in custody at the time you made the statements, and whether you were properly advised of your Miranda rights. If you were in custody, and not properly advised of your Miranda rights at the time you made the statements, there may be an opportunity to move to suppress your statements.
Additionally, if you have previously been given a recommendation by a doctor for a medical marijuana card, whether or not you ever actually obtained the card, you need to explore the validity of a medical marijuana defense.
Even more so than the potential for fines, costs, probation, and jail time, if you are charged with use of marijuana, you should be concerned with the mandatory penalty of a six month suspension of your driver’s license. The judge does not have discretion in imposing this suspension of your license, although the judge can authorize a restricted license after 30 days. This would mean that for 30 days, you could not drive anywhere, for any purpose. After 30 days, if the judge authorizes a restricted license, you will be permitted to drive for purposes such as work, probation appointments, and health care. However, there are many other purposes for which you would not be able to drive.
In order to avoid the driver’s license suspension, it will be necessary to obtain a dismissal of the criminal charge, plead to a lesser non-drug offense, or obtain a deferral under MCL 333.7411. A deferral under MCL 333.7411 would allow you to complete a period of probation, and if you are successful, the conviction for use of marijuana would not enter. This would allow you to avoid the driver’s license suspension.
If you have been charged with use of marijuana, contact our Michigan marijuana defense lawyers at 616-773-2945 for a consultation.