Written by attorney Daniel P. Hilf

Michigan Criminal Law - Sentence Options

The sentencing Judge has options regarding sentencing which can ultimately effect the duration of the amount of incarceration a Defendant may face: 1) Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) - if the Defendant qualifies for HYTA (he/she has to be between the ages of 17 years and 20 years. The offense cannot be a life maximum offense, an offense under the motor vehicle code (for example - drunk driving), and a schedule 1 or 2 drug delivery charge (for example, selling heroin or cocaine). If the Court sentences under HYTA, it is not bound by sentence guidelines that would otherwise require incarceration without a deviation for substantial and compelling reasons. The Court does not have to impose a mandatory minimum sentence (an examples of this is the felony firearm statute) if the Defendant is eligible for, and receives HYTA. 2) 333.7411 - 7411 has the same benefit as HYTA. There is not an age requirement. It only applies to drug possession charges. 3) SAI prisoner bootcamp - if the Defendant qualifies for the prisoner bootcamp, and successfully completes the program upon placement, he/she is paroled after completing the aftercare component of the program. There are a number of offenses that are excluded from boot camp consideration such as life offenses, and sexual offenses. A Defendant who is a habitual offender is also not eligible. 4) Work release. In Oakland County, due to budget issues, this is home confinement with a tether. 5) Tether 6) Jail based programs that reduce or suspend time - In Oakland County, the Judge has the option of giving the Defendant one of the following programs: PA511 - this is a drug treatment program that can suspend all or a portion of a jail sentence; SAI bootcamp as a probationer; Zero tolerance - zero tolerance requires the Defendant to go into custody for a short period of time (anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours). The Defendant goes through an orientation program and tests for controlled substances. Once this occurs the Defendant is releases. As long as he/she tests for drugs/alcohol and stays free then he/she remains free. LESP - this is a program that focuses on job skills, and substance issues. If the Defendant completes this program, the sentence is reduced by 25%. The sheriff's department also has the option to allow the Defendant to participate in the JAWS program. The JAWS program addresses mental health issues, and participation will also shorten the jail sentence. 7) WAM - this is a district court program in Oakland County, which allows for days of community service to be substituted for incarceration. The best bet that a Defendant has is to hire an attorney, who can work towards gaining acquittal or negotiate the best possible resolution. Daniel Hilf - Hilf & Hilf, PLC - (248) 792-2590 (office); (586) 530-1221 (cell) - 1775 W. Big Beaver Road. Troy, Michigan 48084

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