Michigan Alternative Drug Sentencing
If you are a non-violent adult offender with a drug-related arrest, you might not have to go to jail or even have a criminal record. Alternative drug sentencing, or drug court, helps individuals overcome addiction and addiction-related crimes.
What Is Alternative Drug Sentencing?
Individuals who suffer from substance abuse and commit addiction-related crimes typically do not benefit from traditional sentencing. Instead of rehabilitation, they become trapped in a cycle of crime and punishment without learning how to address the underlying problem: addiction.
Michigan created an alternative drug sentencing program to break this cycle, reduce repeat offenses, and provide a drug-free path.
Currently, there are 84 drug treatment courts statewide, including the adult drug court in Wayne County. It is a blend of probation, addiction counseling, and deferred sentencing.
Deferred Drug Crimes Sentencing
Under Michigan Statute Section 333-7411, a judge defers entering a sentence if the offender complies with specific orders.
If you qualify for deferred sentencing for a drug crime and complete the court-ordered program, your conviction will not appear on your permanent record.
Section 7411 applies only to certain crimes and can be invoked only once.
Drug Court Eligibility
Drug courts in Michigan are for non-violent offenders with addiction-related crimes. Individuals with a felony or criminal sexual assault conviction are ineligible. You must not have used or possessed a weapon during the commission of the crime.
Section 7411 Eligible Crimes
You must plead guilty (or have a guilty verdict) for first-time possession charges of the following:
- Non-narcotic Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drugs, such as GHB
- Schedule 3, 4, or 5 drugs such as steroids or Vicodin
- Less than 25 grams of Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 narcotic drugs, including heroin, Oxycodone, or cocaine
- Ecstasy, methamphetamine, or marijuana
How Alternative Drug Sentencing Works
Led by a judge, your drug court team includes treatment providers, probation officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and case managers who are committed to your success.
Participation in every aspect of drug court is mandatory and may include:
- Regular one-on-one meetings with a probation officer, case manager, and judge
- Attendance at 12-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Scheduled and random drug tests
- Regular team meetings with other drug court participants
- Fulfill other program requirements as needed
Incentives & Rewards
Alternative drug sentencing in Michigan is not easy. The program offers incentives for individuals who exhibit the determination to change their lives. Participants earn rewards for achieving such milestones as:
- Being sober for a specific time (30 days, six months, etc.)
- Enrolling or completing an education program, such as a GED class
- Getting a job
- Finding a place to live
- Becoming a mentor
- Completing a phase of the program
Just as there are incentives for your success, there are sanctions for non-compliance or violations.
- Increased drug screens
- Community service
- Work alternative program
- Increased court attendance
- Electronic monitoring
- Extended time in the program
- Brief incarceration
Drug Court Violations
Violations that might result in sanctions include:
- Failure to appear at court hearings, drug tests, or case management meetings
- Positive drug or alcohol test
- Tampering or altering a drug or alcohol test
- Failure to attend treatment or 12-step meeting
If you are arrested on new charges and convicted, you might not be eligible to return to drug court. In which case, you face the traditional penalties for your drug charges.
An Attorney Can Help with Alternative Sentencing
Facing drug charges on your own is not the best option. Few people have the knowledge or experience to fully exercise their legal rights before a judge and county prosecutor. While public defenders try to help, they are overworked and cannot devote the necessary time to craft a customized defense.
Our firm’s founding attorney, Maurice Davis, is a former prosecutor and public defender. He uses this insight and experience to fight for clients in Detroit and throughout Michigan.
Find The Best Way to Address Drug Charges
If you’re eligible for alternative drug sentencing or would benefit from resolving your case in drug court, The Davis Law Group will help evaluate the situation and facilitate the process. We’ll ensure you’re in the best program possible, manage your compliance, and do everything possible to protect you against the long-lasting damage of a drug conviction.
There may also be underlying issues with your case or opportunities to pursue a charge reduction, dismissal, or prove your innocence. When facing drug charges, you deserve a strong and dedicated defense attorney working for your interests.
Call the Davis Law Group Today
If you or a loved one is facing drug charges and interested in alternative sentencing programs, call the Davis Law Group at 313-818-3238 for a free and confidential case consultation. We are also available via our online contact form.