Blanchard Law is the drug crime lawyer Grand Rapids, MI respects and trusts.

If you have been charged with a drug possession crime in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you may want to explore whether or not you are eligible for a deferral.

In many drug possession cases, pleading guilty is not a good option. You may be factually innocent. The government may not have the ability to prove your guilt. You may have a legal issue that would result in dismissal or acquittal. However, in some cases, there are not any good factual or legal issues. In those cases, a deferral may be a good option.

There are two deferrals for which you may be eligible.

Holmes Youthful Trainee Act

First, if you are between the ages of 17 and 24, you may be eligible for a deferral under HYTA. “HYTA” stands for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. Under HYTA, you are required to plead guilty to the offense. Once you plead guilty, the judge sentences you to a period of probation. During the period of probation, a conviction is not entered against you. If you are successful in completing probation, then no conviction is ever entered.

If you are age 17 until your 21st birthday, then a judge can give you HYTA status without the consent of the prosecutor. If you are age 21 until your 24th birthday, then a judge can give you HYTA status only if the prosecutor gives consent.

If you are eligible for HYTA, it is preferable to seek this deferral. Once you turn age 24, you lose the ability to seek HYTA. Therefore, you don’t want to use a different deferral that might be available to you after age 24.

MCL 333.7411

If you are not eligible for HYTA, you may be eligible for a deferral under MCL 333.7411. This is often referred to as “7411” for short.

Unlike with HYTA, 7411 does not require you to enter a guilty plea. You can receive 7411 after you are found guilty at a jury trial.

Similarly to HYTA, if you receive 7411 status, you will be sentenced to probation. During probation, you will not have a conviction. If you complete probation without violating, no conviction is entered against you.

You cannot receive 7411 status if you have a previous drug conviction. You can only receive 7411 status one time.

There are many benefits to receiving one of the deferrals on a drug possession. First, you do not have a conviction on your record. Second, you avoid the otherwise mandatory driver’s license penalties. Because there is no conviction, it does not get reported to the Secretary of State office. Therefore, no driver’s license penalties are imposed. You avoid suspension of your driver’s license. For many drug offenses, the suspension would be for six months or more.

The lack of a conviction will help you in seeking employment. It may also help you when seeking financial aid for college.

Blanchard Law is a drug crime lawyer Grand Rapids, MI relies on. We are experienced in helping clients determine whether to seek a deferral in a drug case, or whether they should fight their case based on factual and legal issues. If you have been charged with a drug crime in Grand Rapids or the surrounding area, contact Blanchard Law today at 616-773-2945.