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Not Just COVID-19: We’re Still in the Middle of an Opioid Epidemic

August 17, 2020 Criminal Law and Procedure

Not too long ago, the opioid crisis used to be a fixture on the front page of newspapers across the country and a regular feature on news programs. As a result of the pandemic, however, America seems to have forgotten all about the opioid crisis that has affected almost every state. According to Michigan state authorities, the use of opioids has surged during the pandemic, leading to a 26% increase in overdoses from April through June of this year. The month of April was especially brutal, reflecting a 33% increase in overdoses. 

Overdoses are a tragedy, but they overshadow the legal issues that plague addicts. For many opioid users, criminal charges don’t lead to recovery – they keep them using and often lead to other crimes. If you’re facing an opioid charge, an experienced Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney can help you get a positive outcome. 

Possession of Heroin or Fentanyl in Michigan

Generally speaking, the penalties you face for a drug charge is based on the type of drug and the amount. Drugs are classified on a schedule, with Schedule I drugs being considered the most dangerous, and schedule 5 being the least serious. Schedule I and II narcotics carry the harshest penalties. 

Unfortunately, heroin and fentanyl are considered Schedule I and Schedule II drugs, respectively. This means that for a simple possession charge, you face the following penalties if you are convicted: 

  • Up to 4 years in prison and/or a fine of $25,000 for under 50 grams
  • Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000 for 50 to 450 grams
  • Up to 30 years in prison and /or a fine of $500,000 for 450 to 1,000 grams
  • Up to life in prison and/or a fine of $1,000,000 for 1,000 grams or more

Most opioid users possess less than 50 grams at any given time, meaning that you could face up to 4 years in prison as a result of having a minimal amount of heroin or fentanyl. 

If you are charged with heroin or fentanyl possession, it’s important to remember that you aren’t automatically guilty. An Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney can provide you with an aggressive defense and help you avoid conviction. 

You May Have Options

There are various options to avoid conviction and enter a diversionary treatment program in the state of Michigan. Unfortunately, Washtenaw County only offers a drug treatment court to juveniles at this time. If your child has been charged with a drug crime, drug treatment court may allow them to get the treatment they need while avoiding the criminal justice system’s harsh consequences. If you are an adult, you may still have access to alternatives – an Ann Arbor drug lawyer can help you understand your options. 

Contact an Ann Arbor Criminal Defense Attorney if You’ve Been Charged with Possession of Heroin or Opioids

At ArborYpsi Law, we fully believe that every person deserves their day in court. If you’re facing drug charges related to opioids, Ann Arbor criminal defense lawyer Sam Bernstein will fight for your rights and help you get a fair result. Call us today at 734-883-9584 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your case and how we can help.