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Drug crimes: What drug charges are felonies?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2023 | Drug Offenses |

The world of drug crimes can get confusing. Drug charges come in two basic types, misdemeanors and felonies.

A felony is a drug crime that carries a sentence of over one year up to life in prison, not to mention the other penalties such as taking away your voting rights and permanent loss of the legal ability to own a firearm.

What constitutes a felony drug offense?

The drug crimes that are felonies in Michigan depend on three factors. These are:

  • The type of drug
  • The amount
  • The activity with the drug

It is important to know what drug charges are felonies.

What is the drug schedule?

Law enforcement puts different drugs into classes. These classes are Schedules 1 through 5. Schedule 1 drugs carry the most severe penalties, while Schedule 5 drugs are the least severe unless a chemist or dealer processes them into a Schedule 1 or 2 drug.

Which drug crimes are always felonies?

There are a few drug crimes that are always felonies. These are:

  • Trafficking
  • Possession with intent to deliver
  • Possession of large quantities
  • Manufacturing

Simple possession or use can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on what you do while you are in possession of or using a specific drug and where that drug is on the Schedule.

When is possession of a drug a felony?

Drug possession of specific Schedule 1 or 2 drugs is usually a felony. These drugs are:

  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy any amount
  • Methamphetamine any amount
  • Cocaine
  • PCP
  • Morphine or OxyContin without a prescription

Although there are more, these are the main ones in Michigan.

Other felonies can be drug-related but not specific to the drug. An example of this is vehicular manslaughter, where drugs might be present.