Criminal Lawyer Grand Rapids, MI
If you’ve been charged with a drug offense, you may be wondering whether the charge is it really worth fighting. Are the costs of hiring an experienced Grand Rapids, Michigan criminal lawyer worth avoiding a drug conviction on your record? The answer is a definite “yes” when you consider just how much is at stake.
Time behind bars
It is unfortunately common for drug convictions to result in prison time. In fact, a significant portion of inmates in state and federal prisons are serving time for non-violent drug offenses. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to avoid a conviction if you can. Hiring an experienced Grand Rapids, MI criminal lawyer from Blanchard Law who is serious about protecting your interests is a good place to start.
If you do face jail time after a conviction, the length of your sentence will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The type of drug offense (possession, manufacturing, trafficking, etc.)
- The type and quantity of drugs in your possession
- Prior convictions or aggravating factors
- Cooperation with prosecutors or taking a plea deal
The problems of probation
Probation may sound far superior to jail time, and in many ways, it is. But it is not a scenario without difficulty. Being on probation means being regularly monitored and scrutinized by the criminal justice system. It often means frequent drug and alcohol testing, meetings with a case manager and restrictions on where you can travel and who you can associate with.
It is also important to remember that probation terms can vary wildly depending on where you live and which judge sentences you. While most people serve probation terms of a few months to a few years, some are put on probation for literally decades. Working with a solid Grand Rapids, MI criminal lawyer can help to ensure that if you are sentenced to probation, your terms will be as fair as possible.
Fines and fees
From a low-level possession charge to felony trafficking, nearly any sentence is going to involve fines and other financial penalties. Even in states where certain drugs have been decriminalized, personal-use possession may still involve a nominal fine. These costs can really add up.
How your job and future plans may be impacted
While there is no longer much of a stigma surrounding drug use in the United States, there is still a significant stigma when it comes to criminal convictions. A drug conviction on your record can make it much harder to find a job, find a good place to live, attend college or qualify for student loans. Of course, most states still have laws revoking the voting rights of convicted felons. This means that a mistake in your past could make it difficult or impossible to even participate in the democratic process, which is arguably more important now than ever before. The sooner you contact a Grand Rapids, MI criminal lawyer, the sooner you can get started planning your defense and protecting your rights, your freedoms and your future.