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Birmingham Drug Penalties

If a person is convicted of a drug crime, there is a social stigma that goes along with it, and this leads to many collateral consequences for those kinds of convictions. A drug conviction is the type of conviction that can follow someone throughout their life in a way that other types of crimes cannot follow them even well into their future, thereby impacting their ability to attend certain schools, certain colleges, and get certain jobs in the future. There are many categories of employment that are simply not open to a person convicted of a drug crime and there are also driver license sanctions that apply.

Some drug convictions may result in a person being ineligible for parole. Because of the serious penalties for a drug charge in Birmingham, an experienced drug lawyer is going to be necessary to someone facing charges to help them build a proper defense.

Drug Categories

There are some drugs that are going to be more harshly penalized than others and they are generally the Schedule I drugs, those with no recognized medical use. The exception is marijuana. Even though it still remains as a Schedule I drug, the penalties for marijuana are significantly less than most of the other Schedule I drugs and in some locations, it is a low-level crime to be in possession of small amounts of marijuana even without a license.

It is a public policy decision of judging and penalizing these drugs more harshly and it is based on the fact that these are the types of drugs that have a higher propensity to cause harm to people, either physical or mental harm, and the law seeks to preclude that type of behavior. Also, because the drugs have the propensity to cause more severe forms of physical addiction, the selling and obtaining of them is both inherently dangerous and leads to other types of crimes such as theft and sometimes even things like murder. Because of this, the Birmingham drug laws are specifically designed to set forth harsher sentences including more prison time for the sale of these scheduled drugs.

Prescription Abuse

If a person does not have a lawful prescription for a particular drug— like hydrocodone or oxycodone—the law prohibits possession of these drugs and that would be an unlawful possession just like any other controlled substance. Just like any other controlled substance, the more that they have with them, the more severe the potential penalty.

The idea behind this law is that if they possess a whole lot of particular drug, meaning more than would be expected for personal use, then they are probably a dealer. These crimes are felonies and, if they involve a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, then at the highest level, they can be punished by even life in prison. For small amounts of the drug including marijuana, these crimes are misdemeanors. Medical marijuana in Michigan is still on the Schedule I, meaning it has no recognized medical use. There are various potential penalties that will all depend on amount and types of drugs, and it is important to have an attorney to help determine how to mitigate those potential drug penalties in Birmingham.