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Michigan Juvenile Crimes and Deferral Programs
Having one of your children arrested for a crime can be a very scary event. One of the main fears comes when you consider the long term ramifications of your son or daughter’s future due to a mistake or bad decision they made in their youth. Teenagers can make dumb decisions. But the question is, should that dumb decision haunt the individual for the rest of their lives?
Michigan has created several programs for juvenile crimes to be expunged from the juvenile’s record after the completion of the program requirements. This allows for the punishment and potential rehabilitation of the child through the Michigan juvenile justice system, but does not result in lifelong negative repercussions on the child’s life.
In order to make sure your teenage daughter or son is afforded all of the rights that are available to them, you need to hire an experienced Michigan juvenile defense attorney who knows the law and the juvenile deferral programs. Having a lawyer on your child’s side fighting for their rights will give them the best opportunity to ensure that a stupid youthful mistake does not ruin their future opportunities.
Holmes Youth Trainee Act (HYTA)
The Holmes Youth Trainee Act (HYTA) is a program for Michigan juveniles who have been charged with a crime before their 21st birthday. This is a program that, if completed, causes the juvenile to suffer punishment and rehabilitation for a crime, but then allow the conviction to be removed from their permanent record after completion of the program. The HYTA program applies to most crimes committed by juveniles under the age of 21, including felonies and misdemeanors. The law does not allow the program to be used with crimes that involve potential life sentences, major drug crimes, and traffic citations and offenses.The HYTA program allows for a guilty plea and a sentence of probation. The juvenile must complete the terms of the probation that are set by the judge at sentencing. Once the term is complete, the judge will review the juvenile’s results in completing the program, then decide to permanently remove, or expunge the conviction, from the person’s record. This allows for the juvenile to hopefully learn their lesson, but not be haunted by a criminal conviction due to youthful bad judgement. Some of the scenarios that would be a violation of the program resulting in extra time added to the probation, extra conditions, or completely removing the juvenile from the HYTA program altogether include:
- Being charged with a new crime;
- Failing a drug test;
- Failing an alcohol test;
- Failing to timely report to your probation officer;
- Failing to complete community service requirements;
- Failing to maintain employment;
- Failing to complete a required drug or alcohol treatment program;
- Failing to pay any fees, fines, or court costs levied;
- Failing to attend school regularly, if appropriate for the case; or
- Violating any other specific requirements set by the judge.
7411 Drug Crime Deferral
Another program for deferral of crimes for juveniles is the 7411 Drug Crime Deferral program. This program is codified under Michigan law at the Michigan Controlled Substances Act (MCL § 333.7411), thus the name “7411”. Similar to other juvenile crimes, a drug conviction can have significant ramifications to the future of the child. There are many things that a serious drug conviction could impact in an individual’s life, such as:
- Revoking driving privileges;
- Inability to receive certain student loans for post-secondary education;
- Inability to obtain mortgages or to rent certain properties;
- Inability to obtain certain jobs and employment;
- Inability to join the military; or
- Negatively affect your immigration status or your ability to become a U.S. citizen.
Some of the normal requirements for completion of the 7411 program are attending drug rehabilitation services and education programs, paying fines and court costs, completing community service, and regular court supervision. However, this program can only be used one time for an individual. With any subsequent drug arrest, the 7411 program will not be available.
Minor In Possession of Alcohol In Michigan
A common problem with teenagers is their illegal use of alcohol. Michigan law provides for a deferral program with convictions of this crime as well. The “MIP” statute of MCL 436.1703(3) authorizes a court, after fulfillment of the terms and conditions of probation, to discharge the defendant and dismiss the proceedings. To qualify for this deferral, the defendant must not have previously been convicted of or received a juvenile adjudication for being a minor who purchased or attempted to purchase alcoholic liquor, consumed or attempted to consume alcoholic liquor, possessed or attempted to possess alcoholic liquor, or had any bodily alcoholic content.
In 2018, a new MIP law took effect that basically treats a first offense MIP of alcohol as a misdemeanor civil offense. A first time offender will face a fine, plus the possibility of community service and substance abuse classes. The current first offense MIP fine is $250.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a diversion program?
Diversion programs are an alternate form handling illegal behavior without resorting to legal action or having the court system involved. These programs normally are intended for youth, giving them the option of Instead, these programs normally have someone such as a school principal handle the matters surrounding the misbehaving young person.
Q. How long is a diversion program?
Typically these programs are a minimum of six months, and can go all the way up to a year in length. Generally speaking, these programs will not last past the juveniles 17th birthday. Once successfully completed, the youths criminal past will be non-public, and officially destroyed after their 17th birthday, meaning they will no longer have any criminal record.
Q. What is a juvenile diversion program?
Juvenile diversion programs are an alternate form of holding youth accountable for their illegal behavior without resorting to legal action or having the court system involved. Instead, these programs normally have someone such as a school principal handle the matters surrounding the misbehaving young person.
Q. What is diversion program for shoplifting
When shoplifting occurs under the age of 17, it is considered juvenile shoplifting and the possibility of entering into a diversion program exists. For shoplifting crimes, the diversion program will be the same as other crimes, involving a minimum of six months for program completion.
Michigan Juvenile Crimes Lawyer
You probably have a lot going on in your life and you really do not need to add a criminal prosecution of your child to it. At George Law, our criminal defense attorneys are focused on effectively representing Michigan defendants in various criminal matters. We are keen on the deferral programs and other legal options that may be available to your child in Michigan. Our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys will help to ensure that you are advised about your child’s charges, that you know what your legal options are, and that your child is well defended. To contact George Law regarding your criminal matter, call (248) 470-4300.
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