Possession of a Controlled Substance in Michigan

Michigan has some of the toughest drug laws in the United States, and if caught possessing controlled substances, convicted individuals may be looking at imprisonment and fines. Furthermore, some Michigan courts are notorious for being strict and unpitying in regards to drug offenders. Whether a person was found in possession of Schedule I or II drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamine, or Schedule III-IV drugs, such as some prescription substances, Michigan state prosecutors will be unforgiving in their efforts to achieve a guilty conviction.

For this reason, if you or a loved one was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, you need a diligent, aggressive, and knowledgeable Michigan federal drug possession attorney. No matter your charge, we will build a strong defense that targets the prosecution’s narrative and evidence from multiple angles. Our goal is to secure a not-guilty conviction or dropped charges, or, if the evidence is truly stacked against you, we will fight for reduced or alternative sentencing.

For a free consultation with a Grabel & Associates drug possession lawyer, call our Lansing, MI law firm today by dialing 1-800-342-7896.

Controlled Substance Violations in Michigan

In an attempt to fight the drug trade in Michigan, both federal officers and law enforcement aim to catch and prosecute individuals in possession of a controlled substance. These substances include narcotics and prescription drugs, and they are categorized into five schedules. Schedule I and II drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no medically accepted value. Schedule III to V substances have a moderate to low potential for abuse and some medicinal value.

The laws governing drug possession are in the Michigan Public Health Code, Section 333.7403. According to Michigan law, it is illegal to “knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance, a controlled substance analogue, or a prescription form” without a valid prescription.

Possible Penalties for Controlled Substance Violations

A possession of a controlled substance charge is either a misdemeanor or a felony in Michigan. The severity of the potential penalties depend on the type of drug involved, the quantity of the drug, and if there were other crimes that occurred along with the possession charge (for example, you were caught in possession of drugs and a weapon).

Here is a short list detailing some of the more serious controlled substance penalties.

Schedule and Type of Controlled SubstancePotential ImprisonmentFines and Other Penalties
Schedule I or II narcotic substances (such as heroin and cocaine and similar derivatives)- 1,000 grams or more may result in up to life
- 450 to 1,000 grams may result in up to 30 years
- 50 to 450 grams may result in up to 20 years
- Less than 50 grams may result in up to 20 years
- 1,000 grams or more may incur a fine of $1,000,000
- 450 to 1,000 grams may incur a fine of $500,000
- 50 to 450 grams may incur a fine of $250,000
- Less than 50 grams may incur a fine of $25,000
Ecstasy and MethamphetamineUp to 10 yearsUp to $15,000
Any Schedule I, II, III, or IVUp to one yearUp to $2,000
LSD, peyote, mescaline, and other schedule 5 substancesUp to two yearsUp to $2,000
Prescription medication without a prescriptionUp to one yearUp to $2,000

It is important to note that the majority of possession cases involve a small quantity of drugs. All drug-related convictions in Michigan, however, result in a mandatory driver’s license suspension, unless the defendant is sentenced to jail.

Additionally, Michigan courts only look to these sentencing guidelines as an advisory tool; judges are not required to follow them. As such, after hearing a case, Michigan judges will make a sentencing decision based on a wide range of factors, including the circumstances of the possession charge, the defendant’s criminal history, the availability of character witnesses, and so forth.

Defending a Michigan Drug Possession Charge

With the prospect of imprisonment and fines following an arrest for drug possession, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and even frightened. We at Grabel & Associates understand this, and it is our goal to make sure that you’re informed during every step of the criminal proceedings. As such, if you’re facing a drug possession case in Michigan courts, remember that the prosecutor must prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt, including:

  • The substance was, in fact, a classified controlled substance
  • The defendant possessed the substance
  • The defendant knew he/she possessed the substance
  • The substance was not obtained with a valid prescription given to the defendant (or without some other authorization for the defendant to possess it)

In addition to challenging these four elements with our own evidence and witness testimony, our drug possession attorneys also boast industry-leading defense strategies to prove your innocence or get the charges dropped.

Contact the Michigan Drug Attorneys at Grabel & Associates

At Grabel & Associates, we have worked with thousands of individuals charged with drug possession, and over the years, we have achieved numerous successes. Our knowledge of Michigan drug laws are second to none, and we will do everything under Michigan law to achieve a favorable result.

If you would like to speak with our criminal defense lawyers, you can call our Michigan law office today at 1-800-342-7896. Free, no-obligation consultations are also available 24/7. Call now and fight for your freedoms.


With drug crime defense attorneys statewide, Grabel & Associates defends people throughout Michigan charged with possession, intent to distribute, manufacturing, cultivation and illegal prescription drugs.