A person convicted of a drug possession offense in Michigan may qualify to have his or her record expunged at the time of sentencing.
In Michigan (for non federal cases) an individual who either pleads guilty or is found guilty of possession or use of a controlled substance, or possession or use of an imitation controlled substance for a second time, may be granted by the Court a special provision of the law called 7411 (also known as Michigan Compiled Law 333.7411) as long as he or she has not previously been convicted of a drug possession or delivery charge. Under 7411 status the Court without entering a judgment of guilt may defer proceedings and place the individual on probation. Probation would include the payment of fees and cost, and may (but does not have to) include conditions such as a jail sentence, drug/alcohol treatment, drug Court, drug/alcohol testing reporting to a probation officer and other standard terms and conditions of reporting or non-reporting probation. If the person successfully completes the terms and conditions of probation ordered by the Court, the Court shall discharge the individual and dismiss the proceedings without an adjudication of guilt. An individual in Michigan has only 1 opportunity in life for 7411 status. However, an individual charged with multiple drug charges as part of the same case (for example, a person charged with being in possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine at the same time) can receive 7411 status for all the drug offenses incurred at that time.
For any criminal offense, your best bet is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer, such as Attorney Daniel Hilf from the law firm of Hilf & Hilf, PLC.
7411 status does not apply to the following cases: possession with intent to deliver drugs; delivery of drugs; manufacture of drugs; delivery or manufacture of marijuana; possession with intent to distribute marijuana; possession with intent to distribute imitation controlled substances; manufacture of imitation controlled substances; prescription fraud; possession of drug or narcotic paraphernalia; loitering in a drug house; any and all drinking and driving offenses (such as but not limited to Operating While Impaired; Operating While Intoxicated; OUIL; OWI; OUIN; OUID); Public intoxication and other possession of alcohol offenses. It does not apply to non drug offenses that are caused by drug addiction (for example, a robbery that occurs due to the Defendant’s drug addiction).
7411 status is available for the possession of drugs such as: marijuana, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine, LSD, PCP, mushrooms, K2, spice, bath salts, and unlawfully possessed or used prescription pills (such as vicodin, xanax, oxycoton, codiene, etc.). It even applies to instances when an individual possesses an imitation controlled substance. Individuals that previously had a drug charge expunged through HYTA (Holmes Youthful Trainee Act) or other diversionary programs are still eligible for 7411 status. Unlike HYTA, there are no age restrictions for someone to receive 7411.
Under 7411, a plea or finding of guilt for a drug offense is not considered a conviction that disqualifies or disables a person from benefits and privileges in Michigan. However, individuals that are not United States citizens may be negatively impacted by any admissions and/or convictions (under 7411, HYTA, or otherwise) for drug related offenses. Persons accused and/or charged with any criminal offense that are not United States citizens should always consult with experienced immigration lawyers, such as the lawyers at Hilf & Hilf, PLC.
The Court file and record of proceedings concerning the conviction under section 7411 is closed to the public. The recipient of 7411 status can truthfully tell employers, schools, and anyone else that he or she was not convicted of the offense that led to the 7411 status. However, if the person violates his or her probation, the Court has the discretion of removing the privilege of the 7411 status and incarcerating him or her. In this event, the conviction would become both an adjudication of guilt and a public record.
The nonpublic record of dismissal under section 333.7411 is accessible only in limited circumstances: for law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys in the performance of their duties; for law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys to find out if the Defendant received 7411 already in the past and to also see if he or she is eligible for a discharge and dismissal of proceedings through a drug treatment court; for obtaining and maintaining employment with the Michigan Department of Corrections; and the Department of Human Services (also known as DHS, CPS or Child Protective Services) can access these records to enforcing laws related to children and vulnerable adults or for screening purposes for employment opportunities with DHS.
The receipt of section 7411 is not automatic, even for an individual who has no prior record. 7411 status is a privilege within the sound discretion of the Court. It is always advisable to have experienced legal representation whenever you or a loved one is charged with a criminal offense.
Having a drug conviction on one’s record is often a large impediment to being successful in life. Driving privileges can become restricted or revoked by the Michigan Secretary of State for drug related convictions – even for offenses that do not involve the use of an automobile, motorcycle, or motorized vehicle. Many employers choose to not hire people with drug convictions. Licensing for certain professions may be affected by a drug conviction. It is often embarrassing when a drug conviction is discovered by parents, children, or other loved ones. The internet has made information about individuals, which was previously not detectable, more readily available.