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Delayed Sentencing Under MCL 771.1

Delayed sentencing under MCL 771.1 usually refers to a conditional future dismissal. The statutory language does not actually promise a future dismissal, but this is how judges and prosecutors routinely interpret the provisions of MCL 771.1. The statute actually states that:

In an action in which the court may place the defendant on probation, the court may delay sentencing the defendant for not more than 1 year to give the defendant an opportunity to prove to the court his or her eligibility for probation or other leniency compatible with the ends of justice and the defendant's rehabilitation, such as participation in a drug treatment court under chapter 10A of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.1060 to 600.1082. When sentencing is delayed, the court shall enter an order stating the reason for the delay upon the court's records. The delay in passing sentence does not deprive the court of jurisdiction to sentence the defendant at any time during the period of delay.

MCL 771.1 can be applied to virtually any case, including "all prosecutions for felonies, misdemeanors, or ordinance violations other than murder, treason, criminal sexual conduct in the first or third degree, armed robbery, or major controlled substance offenses." It is most commonly used in retail fraud, domestic violence cases, and local ordinance cases. IMPORTANT: A conviction under MCL 771.1 goes on a person's criminal record while the case is pending. This can have harsh ramifications, since an employer might discover the pending charge. Also, driver's license sanctions, such as license sanctions for a drug crime, will not be avoided by using MCL 771.1. 

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William Maze is an established Livonia Michigan attorney in Wayne County Michigan, and he has represented well over a thousand satisfied criminal defense clients across the state.  He has received multiple awards and recognitions, and he maintains a national reputation as one of the leading drunk driving defense attorneys in the country.  

  • Extensive training and education far beyond the average lawyer
  • Actually fights cases and is willing to go to trial
  • Past President of CDAM (2014-2015), the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan
  • Member of the National College for DUI Defense
  • Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers