criminal-defense , criminal-law

A Delayed Sentencing FAQ

Being charged with a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. Fortunately, being charged doesn’t always mean you will serve a jail sentence. You may be eligible for a delayed sentence.

Here, an experienced criminal defense attorney answers a few frequently asked questions about delayed sentences.

What is a Delayed Sentence?

Under Michigan law MCL 771.1, a judge can delay a defendant’s sentence if they are found guilty. By postponing the sentence, the court allows the defendant to prove that they aren’t likely to commit another crime and do not need to be immediately sentenced for the public good.

As long as the person successfully completes their probation, their charges may either be reduced or dismissed.

The judge does not need the prosecutor’s consent to delay a sentence in many felony and misdemeanor cases. However, the prosecuting attorney’s consent is required under MCL 771.1 to dismiss or reduce the offense at the end of probation.

What happens under a delayed sentence in Michigan?

When a judge delays your sentence, the court will enter an order that documents the reason for the delay into the court records. The judge will then place you on probation. This period of probation can’t exceed one year.

The defendant will be placed under a probation officer’s supervision and must comply with all terms of their probation. These terms can include drug tests, anger management courses, going to community college, maintaining employment, or other requirements deemed appropriate by the judge.

Your charges may be reduced or dismissed if you successfully complete your probation period.
While your record will not be sealed after a dismissal, this criminal charge will never be listed as a conviction. This means you will only have to list this charge on a job, housing, or education application if specifically asked.

Who is eligible for a delayed sentence?

A sentence delay can be used in many criminal cases, including misdemeanors, felonies, and ordinance violations.

However, the following crimes are excluded from a delay of sentence :

  • Murder
  • Treason
  • Armed robbery
  • Criminal sexual conduct in the first-degree
  • Criminal sexual conduct in the third-degree
  • Major controlled substance offenses

If the judge finds you unlikely to commit future crimes or engage in criminal conduct, you are eligible for a delayed sentence if you plead guilty or are found guilty at a trial.

What happens if you violate probation under a delayed sentence?

If you violate the terms of your probation under a delayed sentence, the outcome will depend on the judge. However, If you violate your probation, the court can still sentence you at any time during the probationary or delay period.

Talk to the Criminal Defense Lawyers at JAD Law

When you or a loved one gets arrested, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to advocate for you.  JAD Law is here to help.  Contact JAD Law today to schedule an appointment.

JAD Law serves several counties across Metro Detroit, Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties.