Since 1994, I have represented hundreds of people charged with various drug crimes. However, I have talked to even more people that went to court for a small amount of marijuana or some other drug and were later shocked to find out how serious the consequences can be. Most people don't know that a drug offense will appear on their driving record and they will have a
suspended license (even if they weren't driving with drugs), they can be disqualified from public assistance benefits, they can be disqualified from Federal student loans or grants for school, and they can be prohibited from exercising their 2nd Amendment right to own or carry a firearm for self-defense. If you are not a U.S. citizen the consequences can be extreme, up to and including deporation and removal from the country, no matter how long you have lived here.
Also, don't be fooled by thinking that prescription drugs are less serious than illegal street drugs. In fact, criminal law violations involving prescription drugs can sometimes be worse than for illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin. As a criminal defense lawyer I have represented many people who had prescriptions, but were carrying the pills illegally or
driving a car while under the influence of drugs. Many people believe that if they have a prescription it can't be illegal. This is not true. Most people charged with DUI drugs have a valid prescription. Also, many people with prescriptions are shocked to find out that they can be charged with a felony for certain prescription violations.
A drug charge also has serious implications for certain careers. Anyone who works in a profession that requires a state occupational license or certification should take any drug charge very seriously. Health care professionals like nurses, dental hygienists, pharmacy technician, physical therapists, dieticians, etc.. all have a lot at stake with any drug charge. Even students attempting to enter these professions should be concerned. Commercial drivers, pilots, accountants, lawyers, armored car and security personnel all have their career at risk with a drug charge. Even building trades like plumbers, pipefitters, sheetmetal workers, etc.. can have job problems if they work at any federal or state facility that requires a background check for working at that location. In addition, military enlistment options can be denied for any person with a drug conviction.
The point is, any drug charge, no matter how small, is serious and will carry many long-term and indirect consequences that you probably aren't aware of. A good criminal attorney in Flint and Genesee County can sometimes help you avoid some of the unnecessary sanctions.