A 34-year-old Michigan man recently pleaded guilty to charges that could result in up to four years in jail. The felony level drug charges were for controlled substance possession. The accused man entered a guilty plea prior to jury selection on the day the trial was scheduled to commence.
The case arose from an incident in January when deputies from the sheriff's department arrived at the home of the man to execute an outstanding arrest warrant. During the arrest, deputies searched the man and came across a pen in his pocket. Upon examination, it was determined that the pen was used to serve as a straw.
The deputy apparently identified traces of white powder inside the pen, and it was examined by the Michigan State Police crime laboratory. The pen reportedly tested positive for an amphetamine. It was not reported whether the decision to plead guilty was in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Whether involving drug charges or other accusations, a plea bargain is not offered in every case and is only available when Michigan prosecutors indicate a willingness to enter into an agreement. Sometimes, the government agrees to accept a guilty plea to a reduced charge, which typically results in a more lenient sentence. Other times, prosecutors insist that the defendant plead guilty as charged but agree to a reduced sentence for doing so. On still other occasions, the government refuses to enter into a plea agreement, but the accused individual elects to plead guilty in the hope that the court will take that into consideration at sentencing. Regardless, the defendant always has the option of simply denying guilt, thus forcing the government to actually prove the charges in court and beyond a reasonable doubt -- a burden that is often difficult to meet.
Source: petoskeynews.com, "East Jordan man pleads guilty to drug possession", Aug. 13, 2015