A person charged with possession, delivery, manufacturing, or possession with intent to deliver also faces an additional charge known as maintaining a drug house whenever the drugs are associated with a residence or vehicle.
Sometimes a person charged with a possession charge will get hit with an additional charge of maintaining a drug house in West Michigan. The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan has seen it happen numerous times.
According to Michigan Law (MCL 333.7405) provides that a person shall not knowingly keep or maintain a store, shop, warehouse, dwelling, building, vehicle, boat, aircraft, or other structure or place, that is frequented by persons using controlled substances in violation of this article for the purpose of using controlled substances, or that is used for keeping or selling controlled substances in violation of this article.
It’s a shame that prosecutor’s have so many different charges they can hit a person with over drugs, but that is the current law in Michigan.
Needless to say, Michigan needs to reform our drug laws ASAP!
In order for a prosecutor to get a conviction for maintaining a drug house, there are several elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The elements the prosecutor must prove are these key points:
If these three elements are proven, a person will be found guilty. However, The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan is aware that some people have mistaken ideas about other elements that do not have to be proven in court.
The law does not require that a local prosecutor prove the defendant actually owned the structure or property which illegal drugs were maintained or kept. A defendant does not have to own the house.
If a prosecutor can prove that you sold meth or cocaine from a hotel room multiple times you can be convicted of maintaining a drug house because you have “maintained” the hotel room.
The maximum penalty for the offense of Maintaining a Drug House is 2 years in prison and a fine of not more than $25,000.00, or both. Rarely do we see people get a full two years in prison for this crime, but people can do jail time when they get convicted for this charge.
Double Penalty: In addition to the consecutive sentencing provision of Michigan criminal drug laws, a person faces a double penalty upon a second conviction of a drug crime under the statute. For example, if a person is charged with new offense of Delivery of Marijuana (a felony punishable by 4 years in prison) and has a past conviction for any other drug crime, a conviction for the new offense of Delivery of Meth, a 20 year felony could carry up to 40 years in prison (double penalty).
Consecutive Sentencing: Upon conviction of multiple drug crimes, Michigan drug laws require consecutive sentencing; as opposed to more favorable concurrent sentencing. This means that a person convicted of both Delivery of Cocaine and Maintaining a Drug House would have to serve the sentence on one offense before serving the sentence on the other offense.
We know how to work the courtrooms of West Michigan to get you the best results possible. Do not go to court alone! Call The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan today if you are facing any criminal charge!
(1) A person shall not do any of the following:
(a) If the person is licensed by the administrator under this article, distribute, prescribe, or dispense a controlled substance in violation of section 7333.
(b) If the person is a licensee, manufacture a controlled substance not authorized by his or her license or distribute, prescribe, or dispense a controlled substance not authorized by his or her license to another licensee or other authorized person, except as authorized by rules promulgated by the administrator.
(c) Refuse an entry into any premises for an inspection authorized by this article.
(d) Knowingly keep or maintain a store, shop, warehouse, dwelling, building, vehicle, boat, aircraft, or other structure or place that is frequented by persons using controlled substances in violation of this article for the purpose of using controlled substances or that is used for keeping or selling controlled substances in violation of this article.
(e) If the person is a practitioner, dispense a controlled substance under a prescription written and signed; written or created in an electronic format, signed, and transmitted by facsimile; or transmitted electronically or by other means of communication by a physician prescriber, dentist prescriber, or veterinarian prescriber licensed to practice in another state, unless the prescription is issued by a physician prescriber, dentist prescriber, or veterinarian prescriber who is authorized under the laws of that state to practice dentistry, medicine, osteopathic medicine and surgery, or veterinary medicine and to prescribe controlled substances.
(2) A person who violates subsection (1) is subject to the penalties prescribed in section 7406.
Recently, The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan has become aware of numerous medical marijuana caregivers that have been arrested for selling marijuana to people who were not their patients or selling marijuana in amounts that violate Michigan law. A typical bust will look like this: The police were have several under cover officers do controlled drug buys, then search a residence and seize assets of the person selling marijuana. These assets include cars, property, bank accounts, cash and jewelry. These seizures are allowed under the law when law enforcement officers and prosecutors have reason to believe these assets were gained by profits from the sale of illegal narcotics.
Delivery and Manufacture of Drugs Charge was dropped to a misdemeanor possession charge and our client was given 7411. This allowed our client to walk away from this without a criminal record!
Client was charged with maintaining a drug house and were were able to get the charge dropped to a misdemeanor with no jail! Our client was thrilled!
Attorney Shawn Haff
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