Every year, numerous Michigan residents are arrested and charged for various drug-related crimes. Possession is one of the most common offenses, and it is usually handled at the state level. However, there is a point when possession becomes a federal offense.
State-level possession charges may follow when someone is arrested for having a small amount of an illegal drug on or near his or her person, and the drug is believed for personal use. However, the type of drug is also taken into consideration. Possession becomes a federal offense if the drug is in a certain class or it is believed that the accused had the intent to distribute/sell the product.
At the state level, an individual accused of possession may be able to seek alternative sentencing if achieving a case dismissal is unlikely, or he or she may seek a charge/penalty reduction. The state would rather help people with rehabilitation rather than offer nothing but punishment; however, there are no guarantees one will be able to avoid incarceration. At the federal level, consequences for possession vary from one year to life behind bars, and significant fines — among other things. In other words, the stakes are much higher.
There is little leniency in federal cases. For this reason, Michigan residents who are facing federal drug possession charges can help themselves by seeking assistance addressing the charges filed against them. A criminal defense attorney who has experienced tackling cases in federal court will have the ability to review details of the charges, question evidence, and assist the accused fight for the best possible outcome.