What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is widely used as a powerful opiate painkiller and is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its accepted medical uses. It is estimated to be 75 times stronger than morphine, producing effects similar to those of heroin. However, this can be a major problem when heroin is cut with fentanyl without the user being aware of it, as they are then unable to dose accordingly, resulting in an unintentional overdose.
First developed in 1968 for medical use, Fentanyl is an opioid commonly used as a powerful painkiller and anesthetic. In 2017, it became the most commonly used synthetic opioid in the medical world; however, it has been increasingly used recreationally since then, particularly when mixed with heroin or cocaine. If you are facing an accusation related to fentanyl, then it is critical to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Examples of Fentanyl Crimes
The penalties for fentanyl possession in Michigan can be severe. If convicted of a misdemeanor offense, you could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. However, if it is determined that you are in possession of fentanyl, these consequences become more severe; the larger amount of fentanyl you possess, the harsher the punishment will be.
According to Michigan law, possessing less than 50g of fentanyl is considered a felony and may result in conviction sentences including up to 4 years imprisonment, fines of up to $25,000 or both. Possessing between 50-450g of fentanyl could result in conviction sentences including 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000 or both. Possession between 450g-1kg could see 30 years imprisonment as well as fines up to $500,000 or both. Possession over 1kg carries a possible life sentence as well as fines up to $1 million or both.
If it is determined that an individual possessed the drug with intent to deliver or manufacture it, then even harsher punishments can be applied – for example a person found with up to 50 grams could face 20 years in prison instead of the 4 years faced upon discovery of drugs without evidence of intent to distribute. Other factors such as prior criminal convictions and drug activity within close proximity to parks, schools and other places may also influence sentencing decisions.
The use of fentanyl to cut heroin and cocaine has led to a heartbreaking number of fatal overdoses. Just a tiny amount of the drug is enough to be incredibly dangerous; if you supply someone with a drug that is cut with fentanyl and it causes their death, you can face charges of delivery causing death – a very serious felony that could end in a life sentence upon conviction. Even mistakenly possessing this deadly substance while testing other drugs can lead to criminal charges.
Consequences Of Conviction
If you are accused of a fentanyl-related offense, be aware that there could be serious consequences. A misdemeanor charge is uncommon for this substances, while felony charges are often accompanied by heavy fines and criminal penalties. Professional licenses such as medical, law, accounting or teaching could be put in jeopardy due to a conviction. Even after serving your sentence or probation, having a criminal record can make it difficult to find employment for years afterwards. Don’t forget that there are many possible outcomes related to fentanyl charges – stay mindful and informed about what you may face.
Legal Defenses To Fentanyl Crimes
Facing a fentanyl-related charge is a serious matter, and it’s crucial to examine all potential legal strategies. Was the evidence obtained against you done so through permissible means? Did the police have a valid warrant and reasonable grounds for search and seizure? Additionally, consider if any form of entrapment or undue influence was utilized. Even if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, striving to uncover these viable defense strategies can give you an opportunity to get fewer charges or possibly get dismissed entirely. However, with experienced legal guidance, any constitutional violations may be raised in court before a jury has had their say. Evaluate your options thoroughly to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.
Other Potential Resolutions
If you’re facing charges related to fentanyl in Michigan, it may be possible to avoid conviction by pleading guilty or being found guilty by the court under a deferral program. This approach can result in dismissed proceedings with probationary sentences and imposed terms that require successful completion. Through MCL 333.7411, this alternatrive is available to first-time offenders found in possession of fentanyl and other controlled substances.
There are other advantages to this approach. Not only are legal proceedings discharged, but any related liabilities such as treatment programs and urine tests become void once probation is finished. Additionally, this option lets individuals dodge driver’s license suspension commonly associated with criminal cases. People may also consider different alternatives like Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) and prosecutor deferrals that meet their needs – speaking to a trained legal professional for further advice is recommended.
Fentanyl Charges Demand A Sharp Defense
Law enforcement has devoted considerable attention and resources to fentanyl drug crimes because of the number of overdose fatalities. Prosecutors will seek maximum penalties and judges will listen. For these reasons it is critical to hire an experienced defense lawyer who knows the drug statutes and has handled fentanyl cases.
Jesse Williams and his criminal defense team will work every angle to shield you from a conviction or the worst penalties. We don’t just plead clients guilty, we provide a defense. Call our Traverse City law firm today at 231-735-8575 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.