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What is a Deferred Judgment of Guilt in Michigan?

Posted by attorney Jonathan Paul

What's a deferred judgment in Michigan? How do I qualify? Do I need a criminal defense lawyer?

If you're found guilty or plead guilty to a crime in Michigan, you should ask your attorney about the possibility of receiving a deferred judgment of guilt. This means that a judgment of guilt is not immediately entered and proceedings are deferred during a term of probation. Depending on your case, this could involve drug or alcohol treatment, anger management or other treatment.

The court could assess fines, costs, probation oversight and restitution during this time period. Certain costs are required such as the crime victim assessment fee.

During this time period, the Michigan State Police will report this judgment as a deferred judgment of guilt, and unless the deferred judgment is for a Minor in Possession offense, the judgment will not be reported to the Michigan Secretary of State. The court record status will be public except if the deferred judgment is for a Minor in Possession or under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). For drug court participants, the file is public, but record of participation in drug court is non-public.

Once supervision/probation is successfully completed you will be discharged from probation and the charges will be dismissed. The Michigan State Police will report successful completion of probation, and dismiss their records. The Michigan Secretary of State will dismiss the Minor in Possession offense. The entire court record will become non-public after the order of discharge is issued from probation or a drug court program. The entire file includes recordings and transcripts of court proceedings.

If supervision/probation is not successfully completed a judgment of guilt will be ordered and the court will proceed with sentencing. The Michigan State Police will report judgement of guilt and sentence including jail or prison time. The Michigan State Police will report date of judgment of guilt if a re-portable offense. The court record status will be public for drug court participants, the file is public, but record of participation in drug court is non-public.

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