Michigan Criminal Law: Conviction/Post Conviction; Drug Possession First Offender Diversion under MCL 333.7411

Simply because a person is charged, does not mean they will be convicted. The burden of proof is on the Prosecutor to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone charged is presumed innocent.

However, in certain situations, with certain types of charges, if a person meets the right criteria, and if a person is willing to admit they did the alleged act, there still may be ways that they could plead guilty or no-contest (“nolo-contendre”) and keep a conviction off their general public record.

In Michigan, individuals charged for the first time with certain drug possession or use offenses, or even potentially second-time offenders if the charge is involving an alleged imitation substance, may be eligible to plead guilty pursuant to special program set up pursuant to MCL 333.7411.

Pursuant to this statute in section 1:

    When an individual who has not previously been convicted of an offense under this    article…pleads guilty to or is found guilty of possession of a controlled substance under section 7403(2)(a)(v), 7403(2)(b), (c), or (d), or of use of a controlled substance under section 7404, or possession or use of an imitation controlled substance under section 7341 for a second time, the court, without entering a judgment of guilt with the consent of the accused, may defer further proceedings and place the individual on probation….

MCL 333.7411.

This option is only available for alleged first-time offenders charged with certain types of drug-possession or use charges, or a select number of second-time offenders who allegedly possessed analogs or imitation substances. If a person has a prior use or possession conviction, they are not eligible. Further, if a person is charged with manufacturing/delivery charges or other types of more serious charges, this is not an option. The presiding judge will decide if a person is granted this status usually at the sentencing. A pre-sentence interview and report of some kind is usually required so the court can verify a person’s status.

While this status keeps the file sealed from the general public, the State Police are still required to,  pursuant to section 3, “retain a nonpublic record of the arrest, court proceedings, and disposition of the criminal charge under this section” and certain individuals and entities (prosecutors, law-enforcement, etc.) will still have access to the file and may view the matter as a conviction in certain situations if the accused is ever charged again. MCL 333.7411.

Even if granted this diversionary status, there still may be collateral consequences and the underlying allegations may still be used in these other proceedings. Before considering any plea, please note the potential collateral issues that may go beyond just the criminal charges themselves and consult with attorneys who work on the collateral matters if applicable (i.e, immigration-law attorneys if a person has some questions about how a drug charge would impact their status, family-law attorneys if a person is in a divorce or custody proceeding, etc).

For more information on Michigan criminal law, click here.

For information on Michigan No-Contest pleas, click here.

For information on the Michigan criminal narcotics charge, “Use,” click here.

For information on Michigan criminal narcotics charge, “possession,” click here.

For more information on the Michigan narcotics charge, Manufacture/delivery of narcotics, click here.

Our experienced and dedicated attorneys have represented clients regarding a variety of charges throughout the state of Michigan. We fight hard for our clients. For a free initial consultation, please call our Lansing office at (517) 507-5077.

If you need specific legal advice for your circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. Any person charged with a criminal offense is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The following series of posts is for general educational purposes only. Circumstances may vary significantly. If you need specific legal advice, please privately consult with a lawyer.