Whats a deferred sentence

Asked about 3 years ago - Farmington Hills, MI

I wanna know what a deferred sentence is and if I get one do I have a criminal record already or not yet.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Cy M. Abdo


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . The words "deferred sentence" are commonly used when a case is handled pursuant to a special provision of law for some consideration after the offender is placed on probation for a criminal offense. In reality, the courts no longer are permitted to just take a case under advisement unless authorized under a special alternative sentencing provision of Michigan law on the books. At the end of the advisement period, which is often called a "deferred sentence", the court may grant a dismissal or some other consideration to lessen the penalties.The following list of offenses may be taken under advisement pursuant to special provisions of Michigan laws.

    Domestic Violence: may be dismissed after a period of compliance pursuant to MCL 769.4a.

    Drug crimes involving possession (not dealing): may be dismissed after a period of compliance pursuant to MCL 333.7411.

    Youthful offenders: age 17 but under age 21, may have cases (misdemeanors or felonies) dismissed pursuant to Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) after a period of compliance.

    Delayed Sentence: a court may delay a sentence pursuant to MCL 771.1 and grant a lesser sentence after a period of compliance or grant a dismissal.

    There is also a provision on the books in Michigan to gain dismissals for first offenders who commit "minor in possession of alcohol. The above provisions of law are commonly used by our Macomb County criminal defense firm to achieve dismissals.

    The fact that all of the above provisions of law require a guilty plea means that the court can sentence the person if there is any violations of probation before the end of the compliance period.

    If the person complies with the terms of his probation and is granted a dismissal, the record is kept for law enforcement purposes (non-public) in most cases (such as MCL 333.7411, MCL 769.4a, HYTA). Although there is not a public record, the offense can still show up because of leaks in the system of arrest records which are gathered by private companies. If a case is dismissed pursuant to MCL 771.1, the public criminal record may show all of the activity including the dismissal at the end of the advisement period unless there is some provision to have it expunged as well.

    I am hearing from more and more clients that their records are showing up for matters which are supposed to be sealed and only kept as non-public records. Therefore, I do not think we can say that the offense will never show up on your record and this is unfortunate.

    I recommend that you order a copy of criminal record by sending your fingerprints to the Michigan State Police so that you are in control and know what is on your record. I have included a link for the Michigan State Police with instructions to get your record.

    I also recommend that you obtain a copy of the Order of Action from the court which shows all of the history and entries with respect to your case, including the dismissal.. You should keep this document with your important records just in case you ever need to explain your case to anyone.

    Phone: 586-412-5555

  2. Andrew Charles Lapres

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Poulson. There are several types of deferrals and they all have their own eligibility requirements. In addition, none of them require the court to agree to them and some also require the prosecutor to agree to them as well. There are three statutory deferrals that come to mind. One is the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which is specifically for offenders aged 17-21. The second is the Spouse Abuse Act, which is a deferral for those charged with domestic violence. The third is called a "7411 deferral" (MCL 333.7411), which is for eligible offenders who are charged with a drug offense. Also, some charges can be deferred by the court using a "delayed sentence." So, it really depends on what your particular situation is and some charges cannot be deferred at all by law. Good luck.

  3. Jules N. Fiani

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It is put off (delayed).

    Let me know if you have any further questions,

    Jules N. Fiani
    Attorney at Law Since 1978

  4. Barry Franklin Poulson

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . There are a great many mechanisms in Michigan that you may be thinking of as a deferred sentence. A consulation with an attorney will quickly narrow down what you may be looking at by type of offense, whether you have any priors that can block such an outcome, your age, amount of damage done, if any.

    Talk to a lawyer in your area.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I... more

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