Deferred Sentence for Domestic Violence Cases in Michigan (MCL 769.4a)
There is a statutory provision permitting a deferred sentence for domestic violence cases in Michigan. The defendant doesn't have a right to this type of a sentence. because it is ultimately in the sentencing judge's discretion. It gives the defendant an opportunity to avoid a conviction.
EligibilityWhen a person, who has not been previously convicted of an assault crime, pleads guilty to or is convicted of Domestic Violence or Assault/ Assault and Battery (if the defendant had a domestic relationship with the victim) they may be sentenced to a deferred sentence under MCL 769.4a. The defendant must be placed on probation to receive the deferred sentence.
ProbationThe program is designed to rehabilitate the defendant. The court may order the defendant to complete all of the standard domestic violence probation condition. Typically, the probation will include either 26 or 52 weeks of counseling. While the defendant is on probation under the deferred sentence, the case is non-public and a conviction has not yet entered onto his or her criminal record. If the defendant violates the terms of his or her probation, the court may revoke the individual's probation and incarcerate him or her. If that happens, a conviction will enter upon the defendant's criminal record and the case will be made public.
After ProbationIf the defendant successfully completes probation, the case will be dismissed and permanently remain non-public.