Over the past two years, I had many client who were arrested for marijuana, pot, weed, dope, or whatever you choose to call it. Several months pass and they don’t hear anything from the police or the courts. They often think that maybe they won’t get in trouble. That isn’t always the case so the real question is:
How long does it take to get charged for simple use or possession of marijuana crimes in Michigan?
The answer is that it depends on the marijuana quantity, where you were arrested, were you using or selling, who the arresting agency is, whether its a State of Michigan or City matter, among other things. The process can take a few weeks. It sometimes takes months and even years to get charged in Michigan.
Why would it take months or years to get charged with use or possession of marijuana in Michigan?
When you get arrested, the police try to building the strongest case they can against you. This means that they will take the marijuana and get it tested to make sure it is what they think and sometimes you say it is. The people who test the marijuana are at the Michigan State Police Crime Lab. Marijuana is not a priority for most jurisdictions because of our heroin crisis so when a more serious suspected drug needs testing the crime lab pushes back the marijuana testing. It used to take about 3-6 months for a standard marijuana test. Now I am seeing instances where it takes a year to two years.
What about my right to a speedy trial?
Unfortunately, the right to a speedy trial starts when you get charged. Our Constitution does not provide a mechanism to speedy charges.
What can I do to say that its unfair that it took so long?
It is possible to challenge criminal charges based on the idea that you cannot properly defend yourself in a case due to the undue delay in getting charged. This is a difficult challenge to win. It would require more than just time passing and you being worried. Some challenges work when the marijuana is no longer available for independent testing, the officers who made the arrest and worked on the case are not available, the test itself isn’t available anymore, you moved and can’t come back to defend yourself, your witnesses are not available, among other things. You being inconveniences is not enough and it is very difficult to win these challenges.
What do I do if I am in this situation?
Call me. I will review your case and look for ways to defend you properly. The police need to follow certain rules and if they don’t then you may have some Constitutional protections in place.
If you’ve been arrested for possession/use of marijuana in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Milan, Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester, Howell, Brighton, Northville, Plymouth or in the surrounding communities, then call me for a free consultation. I am here to help you defend your rights and help you get the best outcome from a bad situation.