Controlled Substance Collateral Consequences If Convicted
When it comes to controlled substance (or drug) charges here in the State of Michigan, the legislature has drafted a strict set of consequences to inflict onto those convicted of these various types of crimes. Controlled Substance Collateral Consequences are not limited to fines, but can include: possible jail time, possible drivers’ license sanctions, and other requirements when convicted of a drug crime. There are also possible controlled substance collateral consequences that can involve an individual’s career, financial aid or other areas of an individual’s life.
The following areas involve possible controlled substance collateral consequences, and each provides a brief outline of those consequences.
Health professionals: Relevant Authority: MCL §333.16221(b); Mich. Admin. Code R. 338.3145. A summary suspension of the license will occur if an individual is convicted of a misdemeanor controlled substance crimes involving delivery, possession or use. Individuals previously convicted of a controlled substance crime and currently under a sentence for that conviction cannot work as pharmacists or in related jobs. Moreover, an individual’s controlled substance license would be invalid if suspended, revoked or denied because of a drug crime conviction.
Long-Term Care (adult foster care facilities, nursing homes, hospices, etc.): Relevant Authority: 42 USC 1320a-7; MCL § 330.1134a, MCL § 333.20173a, MCL § 333.20173b. If an individual is convicted of a felony relating to manufacturing, distributing, prescribing, or dispensing of a controlled substance after August 21, 1996, then a lifetime ban in the field will attach to that individual. An individual is banned for five years after the conviction for certain misdemeanor controlled substance offenses, which are listed in the statute, and involve the creation, delivery, possession, or use of a controlled substance. An individual under the age of 18 generally receives a one-year suspension from the date of conviction for most misdemeanor controlled substance offenses.
Private Security, Security Guard, Security Alarm Contractor: Relevant Authority: MCL § 338.1056(1)(e), MCL § 338.1060(1)(c), MCL § 338.1067. An individual is not allowed to have a conviction involving a controlled substance within the last five years, which includes felonies and/or misdemeanors. Therefore, a 5-year gap rule applies.
Federal student loans: Relevant Authority: 20 USC 1091(r)(1) IRC 25A(b)(2)(D). The Federal law suspends an individual’s eligibility for any grants, loans, or work assistance when he or she is convicted (either by state or federal) of a controlled substance that involves the possession or sale of a controlled substance and while receiving student aid. Furthermore, Federal law denies the hope tax credit to a student and his or her family if he or she has a prior felony drug conviction. In possession cases, the period of suspension begins on the date of conviction and will last one-year. There is an enhanced suspension of two years for a second possession offense and complete revocation for a third offense. A delivery drug conviction brings about a two-year suspension for the first conviction and complete revocation for a second conviction. However, there are waiver or rehabilitation provisions that are available to some individuals.
Private landlords: Private landlords may evict an individual for criminal activity related to the tenancy, which is common in drug cases. Furthermore, private landlords may also deny housing because of a criminal record. A lease or agreement between two individuals is a contract, and thus the terms in that contract are binding, which usually involves provisions about drug activity, use or the like.
Conventional public housing and section 8 subsidies: Admission to programs: Relevant Authority: 24 CFR Subpart B – Admission
There is a mandatory denial of housing for individuals convicted of methamphetamine production. There is a presumption for denial is an individual has been convicted of a drug crime, which includes a family member engaging in illegal drug use. Moreover, there is a discretionary denial for any drug-related criminal activity, and thus an applicant may be required to exclude a family member who has participated in or has been culpable for criminal, alcohol, or drug-related activity.
Mandatory termination is required for individuals convicted of methamphetamine production. However, there is discretionary termination for individuals engaged in illegal drug use. Discretionary termination is present when a tenant, a member of the tenant’s household, or a guest engages in any drug-related criminal activity on or off the premises or if any other person under the tenant’s control engages in any drug-related activity on the premises. Public Housing Authorities have the authority to evict individuals for drug-related criminal activity even if the tenant did not know, could not foresee, or could not control the behavior of other occupants or guests.
Permanent revocation for an individual convicted of a drug-related felony, and thus he or she cannot receive federal cash assistance or food stamps during his or her lifetime. States are allowed to opt into or out-of that provision. In Michigan, individuals with one prior felony drug conviction will remain eligible for benefits; however, those with more than one felony drug conviction, which occurred after 1996, are not. However certain benefits will be excluded from the ban, which include, but are not limited to, emergency medical services, certain public health benefits, drug treatment programs, Medicaid, Social Security disability, and supplemental Social Security income. If considering moving to another state and having prior felony drug convictions research is advised because other states do enforce the ban described above.
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