Distribute a Controlled Substance in Michigan


Distributing narcotics and prescription medicine is a very serious crime in Michigan. Due to Michigan’s extremely tough laws on drugs (some of the harshest in the nation), individuals convicted of drug distribution may be looking at long imprisonments, hefty fines, and other lifelong consequences. Law enforcement also has substantial power and capabilities for tracking and arresting alleged offenders, and with broadly defined drug laws, prosecutors have the resources necessary to easily convict individuals associated with a drug distribution offense.

For this reason, it is critical to have a team of experienced and prominent federal drug crime attorneys at your side. We will make sure that you’re given due process of law and that your side of the story is heard in Michigan courts. More importantly, we will provide a rigorous, aggressive, and thorough defense designed to prove your innocence, get the charges dropped, or keep you out of jail.

For a free consultation with our acclaimed criminal defense attorneys, call our Lansing, MI law office today at 1-800-342-789 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Overview of Controlled Substance Distribution Laws in Michigan

According to Michigan Public Health Code 333.7401, “a person shall not manufacture, create, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture, create, or deliver a controlled substance, a prescription form, or a counterfeit prescription form.” Furthermore, the Michigan statute goes on to define “delivery” as a means of transferring or attempting to transfer a controlled substance to another person.

This definition is more than giving a friend a couple painkillers for a bad back. Instead, Michigan prosecutors generally need to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the existence of four crucially important elements, including:

  • An identified buyer and seller
  • An identified controlled substance, whether Schedule I to Schedule V
  • An agreed upon price, such as money or property
  • Mutual consent regarding the transaction

State or federal prosecutors must show that the alleged offender knowingly possessed a controlled substance and transferred (or attempted to transfer) the controlled substance to another individual for an agreed upon price.

Definition of Intent to Distribute

Despite the several elements that state or federal prosecutors need to convict an individual of drug distribution, there is an important facet of this law that makes it easier for skilled prosecutors to win a case. That facet is intent to distribute. In short, if law enforcement finds a large amount of any controlled substances on your person, as well as a weighing scale, for example, prosecutors may be able to argue that you were planning on distributing those drugs.

Distribution of Illegal Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs present a major problem in Michigan, especially in regards to opioid painkillers. Through coordinated efforts between Michigan law enforcement and federal agencies, individuals suspected of distributing prescription drugs or prescription forms are heavily investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Moreover, medical professionals and other licensed individuals may be targeted as well for unethical or criminal drug distribution practices. For example, law enforcement may target a doctor suspected of writing prescriptions for individuals who wouldn’t be qualified for the prescription in most other circumstances.

Possible Penalties for Distributing Controlled Substances

If caught with a large amount of a controlled substance, and Michigan courts file charges for drug distribution, you need to immediately seek out the best criminal defense lawyers experienced in drug distribution laws. In general, some prosecutors and judges will be looking to hand out a maximum penalty, defined by felony charges, years imprisonment in Michigan correctional facilities, and huge fines. Unfortunately, some drug distribution charges present lifelong consequences that are nearly impossible to shake.

To give you an idea of the potential penalties associated with a drug distribution conviction, we’ve included a list of some of the more common drug distribution crimes below:

Distribution OffenseImprisonmentFines
450 and 1000 grams of a schedule I or II controlled substanceUp to 30 yearsUp to $500,000
50 and 450 grams of a schedule I or II controlled substanceUp to 20 yearsUp to $250,000
50 grams of a Schedule I or II controlled substanceUp to 20 yearsUp to $25,000
Any Schedule IV controlled substanceUp to four yearsUp to $2,000
Any Schedule V controlled substanceUp to two yearsUp to $2,000

Keep in mind that these are just guidelines. Ultimately, the Michigan judge overhearing the case will make the final sentencing decision. Everything from the defense’s case, the defendant’s criminal history, and the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense play a role in the judge’s sentencing decision.

Contact Grabel & Associates for a Leading Criminal Defense

If you’ve been arrested for distributing a controlled substance, the most important thing to do is not panic. Remember to employ your right to remain silent and don’t speak to prosecutors, police, cellmates, friends, or anyone else. It is in the prosecution’s best interest that you incriminate yourself.

Secondly, call your attorney as soon as possible. The sooner we at Grabel & Associates hear about your case, the sooner we can begin building a strong and effective defense that provides favorable results.

To speak with the criminal defense attorneys at Grabel & Associates, call our Lansing, MI law office today at 1-800-342-7896. Free, no-obligation consultations are available 24/7.


With Attorney's statewide, Grabel & Associates defend people accused of criminal charges throughout the state of Michigan including the communities of Lansing, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Pinconning, Kalamazoo, Mount Pleasant, Bay City, Saginaw, Brant, Traverse City, Ludington, Allegan, Hillsdale, Lapeer, Port Huron, Ann Arbor, and Detroit.