Facing drug charges can seem like the end of the world, especially when it is your first time. You may think that you are doomed because of this one mistake. Michigan takes drug crimes seriously, so what are you to do to protect your future?
The good news is that you may be eligible to take advantage of MCL 333.7411. This is the number of the Michigan law addressing the avoidance of criminal penalties for some drug charges.
Who benefits from 7411?
To benefit from this law, you have to meet certain criteria. Your charges must be for use or possession of drugs only, not delivery, sale or manufacturing. Neither must you have previous drug crimes on your record, including from other states. You can only use this route once, as well. It covers both misdemeanor and felony charges.
How does it work?
If you qualify, the court defers a judgment of guilt, and you move on to probation. This requires paying a supervision fee and may mandate attending drug treatment court. If you complete the requirements, the judge will dismiss the case, and you can escape the following consequences:
- Losing your driver's license for a year
- Having a conviction on your record
- Having a public criminal record
With no conviction, you will not need to worry about navigating a costly and complex expungement process later on. (The drug deferral itself does not qualify for expungement.) Your nonpublic record will not be an obstacle for employment opportunities and other areas of life. However, it is available to the court and law enforcement in case of future criminal activity. It can also be relevant for certain jobs, such as legal professions or those that require security clearance.
If you violate your terms of probation, then the court may choose to enter a judgment of guilt and continue your case as normal. Also, having additional charges may affect the proceedings and outcome of your case.