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Alternative Sentencing for Drug Crimes

Michigan Drug Crime Attorney

If you are facing a criminal charge involving a drug-related offense, the risk of a potential prison sentence may often be your primary concern. However, the state of Michigan has provided for several alternative sentences in contrast to the traditional jail sentence. Because every case is unique, eligibility for such alternative programs varies case by case. First-time offenders have a higher likelihood to receive one of these alternative sentences as do those under the charge of non-violent drug crimes, such as possession. In order to ensure you are informed of all the options available to your specific case, contact an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer.

Types of Alternative Sentences

Under the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines, there are several options available to those facing conviction of a drug crime. Below are listed just a few of your options as provided by the state of Michigan. Freedman Law Group is well informed on these alternatives as well as their conditions and want to help protect your rights and your best interest during this difficult time.

Special Alternative Incarceration (SAI). Rather than putting you in prison to serve your sentence, the SAI program involves an intense boot camp-like detention. The first phase of the program involves a highly-discipline military style regimen of 90 days including intensive exercise, productive work assignments and substance abuse treatment. The next step in the program involves time in the community under intense supervision, which usually takes place in a residential halfway house setting. The last phase of the program involves a probation-like supervision in the community. The first and last steps of the program are mandatory and only those determined to need residential placement are put through the second phase. This program was started for male probationers in 1988 and expanded to include both female and male probationers and prisoners in 1992. Since then, it has proven to be a beneficial, cost-effective alternative to a conventional prison sentence.

Delayed and Deferred Sentencing. Although the two may sound alike, there is a difference between the possibility of a delayed sentence and a deferred sentence. Circumstances under which the judge deems the defendant to be an unlikely repeat offender, the sentence for the crime committed may be postponed for up to a year. The benefits of a delayed sentence include a greater amount of time for the defense attorney to build a stronger case on behalf of their client and a delayed sentence also provides a chance for the attorney and the defendant to explore alternative sentencing options available for his or her special circumstance. A deferred sentence allows for the defendant to complete a probationary period before being sentenced. If the defendant successfully completes the probation, the judge will then review their case and may choose to dismiss the charges altogether. Conditions and provisions for deferred sentences vary between adult offenders and juvenile offenders.

Probation. For defendants facing charges of non-violent drug related crimes for the first time, a judge may order probation for those deemed unlikely to reoffend. Probation excludes jail time served but the conditions may involve community service, rehabilitation programs, counseling, house arrest and electronic monitoring.

More Information on Alternative Sentencing

If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, you may be wondering whether you are eligible for any of the alternative sentencing options made available by the state of Michigan. If so, the most highly advised action to take is to contact a drug crime attorney in Michigan. The Michigan criminal defense attorney at our firm is well informed on the different conditions and requirements for eligibility and will be able to guide you to the best outcome for your case. Freedman Law Group has successfully defended numerous defendants against drug-related crimes as well as attained favorable alternatives to sentencing for them. Contact our Michigan criminal defense lawyer at the office to learn more about the alternative sentencing options available and how Freedman Law Group can help you.

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