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Jail Alternatives for Drug Offenders

In the state of Michigan, there are jail alternatives, which may apply if you have been convicted of a non-violent drug offense. While not every individual who is found guilty of a drug crime may qualify for alternative punishment, our Michigan drug crime defense lawyers can review your case to see if you may qualify. At Grabel & Associates, we enjoy a reputation throughout the state for obtaining positive results for clients accused of crimes involving illicit or illegal drugs and substances.

Individuals who are involved in drug crimes such as using or possession typically are not violent. However, many prisons are over-crowded because they are filled with non-violent offenders who have been convicted of drug crimes, even though there is no doubt some of those individuals are innocent. Today there are alternative options to spending time in jail, which often times focus more on rehabilitation of drug offenders rather than time behind bars. We understand that for many people, the most frightening thought of all is spending months or even years in jail. Our firm will work vigorously to find the best sentencing option for your individual situation.

Jail Alternatives for Michigan Drug Offenders

Individuals charged with a drug offense such as use/possession may be eligible for some of the following options rather than spending time in jail:

  • Rehabilitation
  • In-Patient/Out-Patient Treatment
  • Deferred Sentencing (7411 and HYTA)
  • Delayed Sentencing
  • Probation

Drug Courts in Michigan

Additionally, there are alternative courts which handle specific types of cases, such as those who have allegedly committed crimes related to alcohol or drugs. There are numerous drug courts across various counties in Michigan that deal with criminal activity directly related to drug abuse and/or addiction. These courts realize that drugs are addictive, and that individuals who consume them often act irrationally or irresponsibly, resulting in actions they would not normally participate in. Therefore, drug courts do not focus solely on punishment of the individual, but rehabilitation options as well.

If your case goes through a drug court, you will likely be under intense supervision and required to participate in drug treatment or rehabilitation, either as an in-patient or out-patient. You may also be subject to random drug testing, curfews, and home visits along with other requirements.

Deferred Sentencing - HYTA and 7411

7411 and HYTA are the two circumstances in which an individual who has committed a drug crime may be given a deferred sentence under Michigan law. While HYTA (Holmes Youthful Trainee Act) deals with individuals ages 17 through 20 who commit almost any type of crime, 7411 deals with drug crimes specifically.

Essentially, 7411 (named for Michigan law MCL 333.7411 ) is a circumstance in which a defendant must qualify in order to get a deferred sentence; an individual must not have ever been convicted of any drug crime previously, and a 7411 is one-time opportunity. There are certain drug offenses that 7411 applies to, and the individual must be found guilty or plead guilty to the offense. Under 7411, a defendant's conviction will not be placed on his or her public criminal record, and the defendant may serve probation as long as the terms of the probation are not violated.

Delayed Sentencing

Delayed sentencing may be an option for individuals who have not committed certain drug crimes involving distribution, manufacturing, or possession with intent to deliver cocaine or Schedule I or II narcotics. Essentially, if you plead guilty or are found guilty of a drug offense, the judge may delay sentencing for up to one year if you can prove that it is not likely you will repeat your mistake. You will be required to pay a supervision fee to the Michigan Department of Corrections, and the judge may further sanction you to certain requirements such as no consuming alcohol. However, with delayed sentencing your criminal conviction will be entered into your public criminal record. Depending on your behavior during the delay, whether you seek rehabilitation, and attempt to make positive changes in your life, the judge may determine to sentence you to probation; however, he or she can also terminate the delay at any time, and sentence you to jail or prison.


Probation essentially means that an individual who is convicted of a drug crime will serve his or her sentence at home rather than in jail or prison. Depending on whether you were charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, you may be placed on probation for up to 2 years (misdemeanor charge) or up to 5 years (felony charge). There are certain requirements that must be met such as remaining in the state, avoiding any further criminal activity, meeting with a PO or probation officer, and in some cases payment of fees to the state government. Even when placed on probation, the judge may order the defendant to participate in drug treatment or rehabilitation; he or she may order you to remain in the county jail for any length of time up to 12 months. Ultimately, the defendant must follow the judge's orders to avoid violating his or her probation, which could end in jail or prison time.

Jail alternatives in Michigan can be quite confusing. If you have been convicted of a drug offense and are wondering if there are alternative sentencing options that may keep you out of jail or prison, contact the skilled Michigan drug crime attorneys at Grabel & Associates today. We work to obtain the best possible outcome for every client, and are successful in most cases. Call us at 1-800-342-7896. Contact us online now.

With drug crime defense attorneys statewide, Grabel & Associates defends people throughout Michigan charged with possession, intent to distribute, manufacturing, cultivation and illegal prescription drugs.

Client Reviews

Just starting the case. Scott Grabel is a very down to earth kind of guy. He doesn't rush you and answers your questions very thoroughly. Scott and Tim Doman return calls quickly. We're still early but I will post an update throughout our process. D. J.
Scott Grabel was kind enough to look into my situation and take his time to speak with me free of charge. Most attorneys will not do that. He gave me reassurance that I had nothing to worry about. If I am ever in need of an attorney in the future I will be calling Scott Grabel and will highly recommend him to anyone with a legal issue. G. K.
Great job Tim, Scott, Daniel very aggressive and knowledgeable They always call you back if you have questions even after hours the best outcome I could've hoped for thanks again R. E.