First Time Offenders, Dismissals and Avoidance of Convictions

Special Provisions of Law in Michigan for Dismissals of Crimes

There is no doubt that you have a hundred questions if you or a loved one is charged with a crime. It is probably safe to say that the number 1 question is:

Can the criminal case be dismissed?
The answer is YES For both adults and juveniles in many scenarios.

Fortunately, there are special provisions of law in Michigan to get criminal crimes dismissed for adults and juveniles. Some cases and clients fit neatly in a particular provision of law to ultimately obtain a dismissal. When a plea bargain is achieved to have criminal matter dismissed under a special provision of law, the case is handled without a trial. Here are few common characteristics of the laws that we call first offender or alternative sentencing programs:

  • Depending upon the provision of law utilized, getting a break, or plea bargain, in the criminal justice system can require the consent of the victim, the prosecutor and the judge.
  • Offenders are placed on probation with various conditions to earn the benefit of a dismissal under a first offender or alternative sentencing program.
  • An offender that does not comply with the terms of probation faces entry of a criminal conviction and sentencing consequences for the underlying offense.
  • There is NO automatic entitlement to have a criminal case handled under a special provision of law to get a dismissal or criminal charge reduced.
  • First offender, or alternative sentencing programs, can apply to a misdemeanor or felony. However, some crimes, such as offenses punishable by up to life in prison, are not eligible for these programs.

There are many reasons that a person would want to avoid a criminal conviction of a misdemeanor or felony. A person convicted of a felony can never own or possess a firearm in the United States. In addition, a conviction for a misdemeanor or felony crime related to dishonesty (larceny, embezzlement, retail fraud) can unfairly label an otherwise trustworthy person for life. An assault crime conviction can be a barrier to employment in certain industries. Yet, all of these matters can be resolved with a disposition to avoid a conviction or with a dismissal.

Alternative Sentencing Programs Available in Every Metro Detroit Court

ABDO LAW has protected thousands of clients from getting stuck with a criminal record in every court located in the counties of Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Wayne, including the following court systems: 37th District Court (Warren, Centerline), 38th District Court (Eastpointe), 39th District Court (Roseville, Fraser), 40th District Court (St. Clair Shores), 41A District Court (Shelby and Sterling Heights Divisions), 41B District Court (Clinton Township, Harrison Township, Mt. Clemens), 42-1 District Court (Romeo, Washington Township, Richmond, Armada), 42-2 District Court (New Baltimore, Chesterfield Township, Lenox Township, New Haven), 44th District Court (Royal Oak), 52-3 District Court (Rochester, Auburn Hills), 52-4 District Court (Troy) and the 72nd District Court (Marine City, Port Huron Divisions).

Drug Crime Dismissals: Felony and misdemeanor drug crimes are subject to dismissal for offenders that qualify for MCLA 333.7411. This forgiving provision of law has the following characteristics:

  • MCL 333.7411 apples to all misdemeanor and felony drug "possession" crimes including: heroin, cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, analogues, marijuana).
  • MCL 333.7411 does not apply to drug crimes with the element of "delivery".
  • A judgment of guilt does not enter with MCL 333.7411 unless there is a violation of probation.
  • Upon completion of probation pursuant to MCL 333.7411, the matter is dismissed and the record is sealed.
  • There may be only one lifetime drug crime dismissed pursuant to MCL 333.7411.

HYTA: Dismissals of Felonies & Misdemeanors for Youthful Offenders: At age 17, a person is considered to be an adult for purpose of being charged with a crime, not a juvenile. MCLA 762.11, also known as the HYTA statute, is applicable for youthful offenders, age 17 but before age 24, to have designated misdemeanors or felonies dismissed after a period of probation with complete compliance. The following rules apply to HYTA cases:

  • HTYA status applies to misdemeanors and serious felonies including but not limited to retail fraud, false threats of terrorism, assault crimes and larceny.
  • HYTA status is available for dismissal of drug crimes involving delivery or possession even if MCL 333.7411 was already utilized.
  • HYTA status is not applicable to any life offense, traffic crime such as DUI and certain sex crimes.
  • HYTA status always requires the consent of the judge and in some cases requires the consent of the prosecutor. HYTA status can be rejected by the judge.
  • In addition to probation, jail be imposed with HYTA status.
  • A judgment of guilt does not enter with HYTA unless there is a violation of probation.
  • Upon completion of probation pursuant to HYTA status, the matter is dismissed and the record is sealed.
  • HYTA may be utilized an unlimited number of times provided that it is acceapted by the judge.
  • Once a case is dismissed pursuant to HYTA status, there is no requirement to disclose a conviction on any application. However, cases dismissed and sealed pursuant to HYTA status remain visible to certain institutions such as courts, police agencies and government.

Domestic Violence Dismissals: When an individual who has not been previously convicted previously of an assaultive crime pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of domestic violence, the court, with the consent of the prosecuting attorney, may defer further proceedings and place the accused on probation without entering a judgment of guilt. Similar to HYTA and MCL 333.7411, upon a violating probation, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and impose sentencing which may include jail.

Delayed Sentence, Offense Reductions, Dismissals: MCL 771.1 is a Michigan law which can provide a remedy to an individual when no other provision applies. In this regard, it is an invaluable tool for criminal defense lawyers and is useful in defending adults charged with uttering and publishing, embezzlement, assault crimes, retail fraud and other criminal matters. This provision of law is beneficial to our clients in two (2) distinct ways:

  1. Delayed Sentence: The judge, without the prosecutor's consent, may delay a sentence in a criminal matter for most felonies and misdemeanors if the defendant is found guilty and the court determines that public good does not require that the defendant suffer the penalty imposed by law. When a sentence is delayed, the court may place the defendant on probation for not more than 1 year to give the defendant an opportunity to prove his eligibility for leniency compatible with the ends of justice.
  2. Delayed Sentence with Reduction of Offense or Dismissal: The prosecutor's consent is mandatory to utilize MCL 771.1 which will allow a criminal matter to be dismissed, or amended to a reduced offense, at the end of a period of probation. Although not available in every court system, ABDO LAW has utilized MCL 771.1 extensively to obtain favorable resolution of criminal matters in the following courts:
  • Romulus Dismissal of Metro Airport checkpoint violations
  • Royal Oak Used to dismiss misdemeanors, disorderly conduct.
  • Shelby Township Used extensively to obtain dismissals.
  • Macomb Township Used extensively to obtain dismissals.
  • Clinton Township Used extensively to obtain dismissals.
  • Sterling Heights Used extensively to obtain dismissals.
  • Chesterfield Township Used extensively to obtain dismissals.
  • Warren Used extensively to obtain dismissals.
  • All Macomb Districts Used to dismiss Retail Fraud 3rd Degree.
  • Macomb Felonies Used to reduce felonies to misdemeanors.

Juvenile Dismissals, Diversion and Consent Calendar: In Michigan, all juvenile court systems have a program known as the consent calendar. The consent calendar allows for the dismissal of a criminal offense committed by a juvenile without any finding of guilt or record of the proceedings. Some courts also have a program known as diversion which also results in a dismissal for offenders willing to accept responsibility and abide by certain conditions spelled out by the court.

Stop stressing and contact the ABDO LAW FIRM in Macomb County to discuss your options. We will evaluate your case from every angle to determine the best course of action and your eligibility for dismissal of criminal charges pursuant to alternative sentencing provisions.

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