Negotiate a Plea Bargain in Michigan
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The criminal justice system is not an “as seen on TV” industry. In reality, there are situations in which it is in a defendant’s best interest to try and negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor.
When a criminal defendant pleads guilty and enters into a plea agreement with the prosecutor, he or she will have a clear indication of what the sentence (or range of sentence) will be before the plea. On the other hand, when a defendant is found guilty following a trial, it is more difficult to know what the sentence will be. There are many factors that go into determining a defendant’s sentence, and there are many options when it comes to sentencing.
A defendant may be sentenced either on the day he or she is found/pleads guilty or at a sentencing hearing on a later date. Moreover, it is important that your attorney explore every available sentencing option before you enter into a plea agreement.
Michigan Holmes Youthful Trainee Act ("HYTA"): This is a deferred sentence mechanism in Michigan, which applies to defendants who are ages 17 through 20. The defendant must plead guilty to the crime in order to be granted HYTA status, and the conviction will not appear on his or her record. Pleading guilty is not usually an option in our eyes; however, if a client qualifies for HYTA and shows the ability to follow the judge’s orders, it may be the best option.
Michigan 7411 Sentencing: This comes from the statute number for this law (MCL 333.7411), and this is yet another deferred sentence mechanism created under Michigan law. 7411 sentencing only applies to certain drug crimes and can usually only be used once in a lifetime. If you have been charged with a drug crime, 7411 may be a good option for you. We recommend that you seek advice from experienced lawyers before you do anything.
Michigan Delayed Sentences: In Michigan, a judge may grant a defendant a delayed sentence after the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of a crime if he or she proves to the judge that: (1) the defendant is not likely to commit another crime and (2) that the public good would not require that the defendant be immediately sentenced. A delayed sentence allows the judge to hold off sentencing the defendant for up to one year. However, delayed sentencing is not available in every situation. The advantage of delayed sentencing is that a defendant can take the probation period to prove that he or she is worthy of a lesser sentence. Unlike the other deferred-sentence mechanisms described above, the conviction will still appear on the defendant’s criminal record following the end of the probation period.