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The penalties for heroin possession and distribution in Michigan

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Felonies |

Heroin is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in Michigan, which means lawmakers have determined that the drug is highly addictive and has no legitimate medical uses. Crimes involving heroin are generally charged as felonies in Michigan, and even first-time offenders can be sent to prison for years for simply possessing the drug. The penalties for distributing or trafficking heroin are even more severe, and they are doubled for individuals who sell the drug to minors or in a school zone.

Heroin possession penalties in Michigan

Individuals found in possession of less than 50 grams of heroin are sometimes placed on probation and ordered to enter into drug treatment programs, but they can be sentenced to up to four years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $25,000. The maximum custodial sentence increases to 20 years and the maximum fine rises to $250,000 for individuals convicted of possessing between 50 and 499 grams of heroin, and possessing between 450 and 999 grams of the drug caries a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a maximum fine of up to $500,000. The harshest penalties are reserved for individuals found in possession of more than 1,000 grams of heroin. These offenders can be sent to prison for life and ordered to pay a fine of up to $1 million.

Heroin distribution penalties in Michigan

Possessing heroin with the intent too distribute is a felony drug crime that is punished severely in Michigan. Offenders who distribute up to 449 grams of heroin can be sent to prison for up to 20 years, and distributing between 450 and 999 grams of the drug carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. Michigan’s heroin laws allow judges to hand down life sentences to individuals convicted of distributing more than 1,000 grams of heroin.

Alternatives to incarceration

The heroin laws in Michigan are harsh, but prosecutors and judges have come to realize that society may be better served by treating drug addicts instead of punishing them. That is why offenders convicted of possessing small quantities of heroin may be treated more leniently if they are prepared to address their issues in a drug treatment program.