In Michigan, If you are charged with possession of narcotics < 25 grams, MCL 333.7403(2)(v), for example, this is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $25,000, or both. Depending on your criminal background, the prosecutor may dismiss this charge in exchange for an agreement to plead guilty to a lesser charge of possession which is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a find of not more than $2,000, or both. In many cases, there will be no jail time for the lesser charge because the jails are overcrowded. Instead, probation is likely and this can often be a worse sentence, especially if the offender is a drug user and will likely violate probation and end up with additional fines and penalties and possibly jail time anyway. The government prefers fines and penalties to having to pay for housing an inmate in jail.