Possession of Marijuana and Other Drugs with a Firearm

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

Possession of Marijuana or Other Controlled Substances While Armed

Possession of a Controlled Substance While Armed is a severe change carrying a substantial likelihood of a prison sentence if the defendant is convicted. Although these cases typically involve Schedule 1 Controlled Substances, the federal government will prosecute a case if the defendant possessed a large quantity of marijuana. While Michigan passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana, it is still not legal on a federal level. Make no mistake, the government will prosecute those found to possess a controlled substance while armed.

Under current federal law, any person who uses an illegal controlled substance does not have the right to possess firearms or ammunition in any way. Even those who are using an illegal controlled substance legally and with a prescription are still technically breaking federal law.

Near the beginning of his term in office, President Barack Obama said he didn’t wish to push federal prosecution against people from states with laws permitting the use of marijuana. In October 2009, U.S. Deputy Attorney General David Ogden circulated a policy memo that confirmed Obama’s earlier statements. The possession of a firearm could result in a federal prosecution when one would otherwise not result.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys are bracing for a case where the United States steps in to prosecute what would otherwise be a misdemeanor possession of marijuana by a person lawfully in possession of a firearm. A charge with a gun would be a felony in federal court.

Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance While Armed

Possible penalties for drug-related offenses when firearms are involved:

  • a 1st offense involving a firearm, generally not less than five (5) years in the Bureau of Prisons
  • if a firearm is brandished, not less than seven (7) years in prison
  • if a firearm is discharged, not less than 10 years in prison
  • if a firearm is a short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or semiautomatic assault weapon, not less than 10 years
  • if a firearm is a machine gun or destructive device or equipped with a silencer/muffler, not less than 30 years
  • 2nd or subsequent offense involving a firearm, generally not less than 25 years in prison
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How a Defense Attorney Builds a Defense Against Possession of a Controlled Substance While Armed Charges

In facing charges of possession of a controlled substance while armed, a skilled defense attorney employs a multifaceted approach to build a strong defense. At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., our seasoned legal team meticulously crafts defense strategies tailored to each client’s unique situation. Here’s how our defense attorneys tackle such cases:

The foundation of many defense strategies involves thoroughly reviewing the circumstances surrounding the client’s stop, search, and arrest. Top defense attorneys scrutinize these events for any violations of constitutional rights, particularly the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement conducted the search without a valid warrant, probable cause, or consent, any evidence obtained during that search could be deemed inadmissible in court.

Challenging the Evidence

Critical to the defense is challenging the prosecution’s evidence regarding both the controlled substance and the firearm. This could involve questioning the substance’s identification, challenging the evidence’s handling and chain of custody, or disputing the ownership or accessibility of the gun found in the defendant’s possession.

Arguing Separate Possession

Defense strategies may argue that the possession of the controlled substance and the firearm occurred under different circumstances or at different times. Demonstrating that the two were not connected can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case, as the charges often hinge on the association between drug possession and the firearm.

Highlighting Lack of Intent for Possession of a Controlled Substance While Armed Charges

A defense attorney might argue that the defendant lacked the intent to commit a crime, particularly if there is evidence to suggest that the possession of the controlled substance or the firearm was not intentional or was unknowingly done. For example, if the defendant was unaware of the firearm’s presence, this could form a basis for defense.

Utilizing Expert Testimony

Sometimes, the defense may involve expert testimony to challenge the prosecution’s assertions. This could include experts in drug recognition, forensic analysis, or firearms to provide alternative interpretations of the evidence that support the defense’s narrative.

Exploring Mitigating Circumstances

When applicable, defense attorneys explore and present mitigating circumstances that could reduce the severity of the charges or penalties. This may involve demonstrating the defendant’s lack of a criminal history, substance abuse issues that require treatment instead of incarceration, or other personal circumstances that merit leniency.

Negotiating Plea Deals

If dismissal or acquittal seems unlikely, an experienced defense attorney may negotiate a plea deal that minimizes the charges or penalties. This could involve reducing felony charges to misdemeanors, negotiating for probation rather than jail time, or arranging for substance abuse treatment programs.

At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., our approach to defending against charges of possession of a controlled substance while armed is comprehensive and client-focused. We are dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome for our clients, leveraging our extensive experience and expertise in criminal defense to navigate the complexities of the legal system effectively.

Hiring LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is Your Best Defense!

Facing charges of possession of a controlled substance while armed is a daunting experience that can lead to severe penalties if not addressed with a vigorous defense strategy. At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we understand the gravity of your situation and are committed to providing a tenacious defense tailored to protect your rights and future. Why Choose Us?

  • Expertise and Experience: Our legal team brings decades of specialized experience in criminal defense, particularly in controlled substances and firearms cases. This depth of knowledge ensures that we understand the intricacies of all available defenses and how to navigate the complexities of your case effectively.
  • A Comprehensive Approach: We don’t just look for the easy way out. Our approach thoroughly examines every angle of your case, from the legality of the search and seizure to the specifics of the substance and firearm possession. We leave no stone unturned in crafting your defense.
  • Aggressive Advocacy: At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we are known for our fearless representation of our clients. We vigorously challenge the prosecution’s evidence and arguments, fighting to ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are upheld.
  • Personalized Attention: We believe in a personalized approach to legal defense. Understanding that each case is unique, we tailor our strategy to fit your specific situation, ensuring that you receive the focused and effective representation you deserve.
  • Proven Track Record: Our firm has a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes for our clients, whether it’s through dismissing charges, securing not guilty verdicts, or negotiating advantageous plea deals. Our success is your peace of mind.
  • Prevent Future Legal Issues: By choosing LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., you’re not just getting a defense for your current charges but investing in your future. Our goal is to minimize the impact of this case on your life, reducing the risk of future legal complications and preserving your freedom and reputation.
  • Your Best Defense Starts Here: From the moment you engage our services, we start building your defense with urgency and precision. We offer comprehensive consultations to understand your side of the story and formulate a defense strategy that maximizes your chances of a positive outcome.

Hiring LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. means choosing a partner who will stand with you, fight for you, and navigate you through one of the most challenging times of your life. Our commitment to excellence, combined with our unparalleled advocacy, makes us your best defense against charges of possession of a controlled substance while armed. Contact us today to start your defense with a team that is invested in your case as you are.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

A Successful and Powerful Defense Against Possession of a Controlled Substance While Armed Charges

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully representing clients on drug and firearms charges in federal and state court in Michigan. The Assistant United States Attorneys in Michigan are some of the country’s most aggressive and skilled prosecutors. Not many defense lawyers are up to fearlessly defending a client in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. When you need the assistance of a defense lawyer who will do whatever it takes to get you the best possible outcome, call us for a free consultation and confidential case evaluation.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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