Michigan Criminal Law: Drug Crimes; “Drug Dealing” or Possession with Intent to Deliver

Allegations involving acts of narcotics possession, use, manufacturing, or delivery of varying degrees are prevalent in the criminal justice system. Delivering and/or manufacturing (“drug dealing”) certain types of illegal narcotics, notably mixtures of cocaine and heroin, or “schedule 1 narcotics” MCL 333.7212, is a felony with varying degrees of potential charges depending upon the alleged quantity, ranging from mid-level felonies to capitol level charges. MCL 333.7401 (2)(a)(i-iv).

The term “manufacture” is legally distinct from the term “delivery.” As the name implies, manufacturing is defined as ” producing or processing a controlled substance.” Crim. JI. 12.1

The term “delivery” is defined as “that the defendant transferred or attempted to transfer the substance to another person, knowing that it was [state substance] and intending to transfer it to that person.” Crim. JI. 12.2
Possible penalties for conviction vary significantly depending upon the alleged quantity of the mixture.
For example, the maximum penalties for delivery/manufacture of a mixture of cocaine, under 50 grams, depend on whether a person has priors, the alleged facts, and other factors; however the maximum possible penalty starts at “a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $25,000.00, or bothMCL 333.7401 (2)(a)(iv).
There are additional tiers and ranges depending upon mixture amounts with varying maximums, until the highest alleged amounts, which result in a capitol charge. MCL 333.7401 (2)(a)(i). For example, if a person is convicted of delivering and/or manufacturing “1,000 grams or more of any mixture containing that substance,” they are looking at “a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years or a fine of not more than $1,000,000.00, or both.” MCL 333.7401 (2)(a)(i).

As the Model Jury Instruction explains, and while the maximum penalties may vary depending on the alleged mixture amount, in order to prove delivery of schedule 1 narcotics like cocaine beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor must show the following:

(1) The defendant is charged with the crime of illegally delivering [ (state weight) of a mixture containing] 1 a controlled substance,         . To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

(2) First, that the defendant delivered a controlled substance.

(3) Second, that the substance delivered was         .

(4) Third, that the defendant knew [he / she] was delivering         .

[(5) Fourth, that the substance was in a mixture that weighed (state weight) .] 1

[(6) Fifth, that the defendant was not legally authorized to deliver this substance.] 2

Crim. JI. 12.2.

The elements are nearly identical if someone is accused of “manufacturing” a schedule 1 narcotic, with the term “delivery” just typically swapped out for “manufacture.” Crim. JI. 12.1.
Please note that this particular page is focused on delivery/manufacture of mixtures of schedule 1 narcotics such as cocaine, crack-cocaine, and heroin. MCL 333.7212. The particular jury instruction above contained bracketed information specifically for this type of charge. Crim. JI. 12.1 & Crim. JI. 12.2
There are significant differences in the severity and type of charge if a person is charged with other types of schedule narcotics or charged with delivery/manufacture of quantities of marijuana. Delivery/manufacture of certain quantities of marijuana, notably under five kilograms, for example, if convicted, is a much lower severity felony charge. MCL 333.7401 (2)(d)(iii).

Our experienced trial attorneys fight hard for our Michigan clients. We represent clients statewide. For a free initial consultation, feel free to contact us at (517) 507-5077.
Anyone charged, of course, is presumed innocent.

For information on the Michigan criminal narcotics charge, “Use,” click here.

For information on Michigan criminal narcotics charge, “possession,” click here.
The prosecutor would need to prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt if the matter proceeded to trial. Simply because a person is charged does not mean that ultimately, they will be convicted.

If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. Circumstances may vary significantly. If you need specific legal advice, please privately consult with a lawyer.

If you are charged with an offense and cannot afford to pay for your own defense, the court may appoint you an attorney payable at the public’s expense. You have a right to counsel.