When can I seek help for my drug problem and not get arrested?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Opiate – prescription and illicit – are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opiates were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.”  In Michigan in 2015, 1,980 individuals died from a drug overdose.  This is up 13.3% from 2014.

 

In an attempt to combat deaths from drug overdose, the Michigan legislature passed a law, which prohibits prosecution for certain drug crimes.

 

Specifically, the law provides that an individual is not violating the “use of a controlled substance” law in Michigan under two specific scenarios.  The first scenario is when an individual seeks medical attention for himself or requires medical assistance and is presented for assistance by another individual or if he is incapacitated because of a drug overdose or other medical emergency arising from the use of a controlled substance or controlled substance analogue.  This exemption from prosecution only applies if the amount the individual possessed is an amount sufficient only for personal use.  The other caveat is that the violation can only have been discovered as a result of the person seeking or being presented for medical assistance.

 

The second scenario is when an individual attempts to procure medical assistance for another individual or accompanies an individual who requires medical assistance for a drug overdose or other medical emergency arising from the use of a controlled substance or controlled substance analogue.  Similar to the scenario above, the exemption applies only if: (1) the amount possessed is only enough for personal use, and (2) the evidence of the violation of law was only discovered as a result of the person’s attempt to procure medical assistance or accompanying another who requires medical assistance.

 

This law changed in 2016 to protect people of any age from charges in these situations.  Prior to this change, only individuals under 21 could avoid charges.

 

The attorneys at Hills at Law, P.C. have extensive experience in dealing with drug charges.  If you have questions related to this change, or need representation, please contact us today.

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