In Michigan, there is a statutory diversion program for people charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol. The diversion statute which can be used by GVSU students is found at MCL 436.1703(3). It provides in relevant part:
When an individual who has not previously been convicted of or received a juvenile adjudication for a violation of subsection (1) pleads guilty to a violation of subsection (1) or offers a plea of admission in a juvenile delinquency proceeding for a violation of subsection (1), the court, without entering a judgment of guilt in a criminal proceeding or a determination in a juvenile delinquency proceeding that the juvenile has committed the offense and with the consent of the accused, may defer further proceedings and place the individual on probation. The terms and conditions of that probation include, but are not limited to, the sanctions set forth in subsection (1)(a), payment of the costs including minimum state cost . . . , and the costs of probation . . . . If a court finds that an individual violated a term or condition of probation or that the individual is utilizing this subsection in another court, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt, or a determination in a juvenile delinquency proceeding that the individual has committed the offense, and proceed as otherwise provided by law. If an individual fulfills the terms and conditions of probation, the court shall discharge the individual and dismiss the proceedings. Discharge and dismissal under this section shall be without adjudication of guilt or without a determination in a juvenile delinquency proceeding that the individual has committed the offense and is not a conviction or juvenile adjudication for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime. An individual may obtain only 1 discharge and dismissal under this subsection. The court shall maintain a nonpublic record of the matter while proceedings are deferred and the individual is on probation and if there is a discharge and dismissal under this subsection. The secretary of state shall retain a nonpublic record of a plea and of the discharge and dismissal under this subsection.
The net effect of this statute is that if a person successfully completes the diversion program, he can truthfully say that he has never been convicted of MIP. At the 58th District Court in Hudsonville, MI, it is the normal practice that Judge Post requires people charged with MIP to plead guilty and then apply for the diversion program. If they are not “approved” for the diversion program, they have already pled guilty and are sentenced without the benefit of the diversion program. Additionally, in the past, the program included an agreement by the defendant that he would lose the status if he was accused of a new crime, regardless of whether he actually committed the crime.
If you have been accused of MIP in the 58th District Court, contact one of the Michigan criminal defense attorneys at Miel & Carr. 616-773-2945.