Michigan's Deferred Sentence: A Powerful Tool
Michigan has just a handful of statutes that permit an individual from leaving the criminal justice systems unscathed--absent an acquital or dismissal. HYTA, or Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, has been discussed in detail here. The other is MCL 333.7411 which applies strictly to possession of certain controlled substances. The third is the delayed sentence statute. After a plea of guilty or a guilty verdict the court may delay the sentence for not more than 1 year to give the individual an opportunity to prove to the court that they deserve some sort of leniency.
Prior to receiveing the sentence, the individual must convice the court that they are not likley to engage in an offensive or criminal course of conduct and that the public good does not require that the defendant suffer the penalty imposed by law. If the individual is able to successfully convice the court of these two factors, the court may delay the sentence, and, if the prosecutor agrees, impose a reduced charge which will enter in lieu of the charge in which the individal plead guilty or was convicted of.
There is a catch, this statute, much like 7411 and HYTA is only available for certain types of crimes. If an individual is convicted of murder, treason, criminal sexual conduct (CSC) in the first or third degree, armed robbery or a major controlled substance offense, that individual is not eligible for the protections given to them under the deferred sentence statute. A lawyer must realize these limitations if they want their client to benefit from this particular statute because the benefits are significant.