After one year of legal twists and turns, more than a dozen court hearings, bond violations, and motions, a Shyler Engel, PLLC client, was finally was sentenced to HYTA Probation in one of the firmest sentencing courts in Oakland County. This was an overwhelming success for our client. More than one year ago, our client sold an appreciable amount of marijuana multiple times to multiple undercover agents in a drug task force. There were not any medical marijuana protections. At the time the felony manufacture and delivery charges were brought, the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act only permitted people under the age of 21 to utilize this provision. Our client was 23 at the time of the incidents. We knew that changes to HYTA were coming down from the Legislature, so we filed a motion to stay proceedings under then-undecided the Section 8 Supreme Court cases Hartwick/Tuttle. Our motion was granted to stay the case. After Hartwick and Tuttle were decided, the changes to HYTA had come into effect, and we sought an agreement with the prosecutor to attain HYTA. We are thankful the prosecution agreed that our client should benefit from HYTA despite his older age and seriousness of his crimes. At the time the plea was entered, HTYA was promised by the judge on the condition that the Defendant not use drugs or alcohol. The client then tested positive for marijuana and missed a drug test. It was a realistic possibility that our client would be sent to jail for a lengthy period of time and have a felony record. Shyler Engel investigated the supposed missed test and marijuana test. Having an understanding of metabolite elimination rates, detection windows, and the studies to back our arguments up, we convinced the judge that the testing facility had made a mistake. While our client was sentenced to a lengthy term of probation, he left that court room with the opportunity to maintain a felony-free record without serving any jail time.
Two Shyler Engel, PLLC clients were in the same position. They had been caught with marijuana while committing civil infractions, but they were behind in getting their patient cards. One of the clients simply hadn’t even seen a physician, and the other client had an expired card. Among other defenses, both had arguable Section 8 defenses.
We filed the appropriate motions and we were ready to argue a total of a combined 5 motions. The prosecutor offered the following deal: Plead to Improper Transport, and all other charges would be dismissed.
Both clients accepted the deal, and the judge gave them exactly the same sentence: 9 months non-reporting, non-testing probation, $400 fines and costs, and no issues using marijuana for medical purposes on probation. After probationary period, case will be completely dismissed pursuant to HYTA.
This means that both of our clients who faced a real drug conviction with reporting and testing probation, hundreds of dollars in fines and costs, plus the civil infractions walked away with just a $400 fine if they are able to stay out of legal trouble for 9 months.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC 20-year-old client was caught with marijuana (for the second time) and alcohol just outside of a college campus. He was charged with possession of marijuana and minor in possession (MIP). The client had already benefitted once from a diversion program, and although he was technically eligible for HYTA, this court would not permit it. Furthermore, for a second offense the penalty often includes jail time in this court. Recognizing this, the client faced the choice of either fighting the charges or suffering the penalties of testing probation, and possibly jail. After explaining to the prosecutor the strengths of the client’s case, the charges were dropped in exchange for a plea to “use of marijuana,” the lowest level offense in Michigan involving marijuana, and the judge would have to simply assess only fines and costs. On the day of sentencing, everything went as planned, and the client walked away from these charges for the grand total of $225. No jail. No probation. No testing.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was caught with marijuana on three separate occasions within 5 months. The first charge was dealt with by another attorney who attained §7411 status for the client. He was placed on twelve months reporting probation. After he was caught for the second and third time, Shyler Engel, PLLC took over. At the client’s pretrial conference, Shyler Engel was able to convince both the state prosecutor and the city prosecutor that the client’s prior attorney should have used HYTA rather than §7411, which was now detrimental to the client. After a few rounds of negotiation, Shyler Engel was able to secure recommendations for HYTA from both prosecutors on both the second and third possession charges. When we took the plea agreement before the judge, the judge was hesitant to respect the plea agreement saying it was too lenient on our client. Nevertheless, the judge granted HYTA on both charges. The judge went even further and waived all fines and costs for our client, sentencing him only to six months non-reporting probation and 30 hours community service.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client faced the 5 year felony Larceny From a Motor Vehicle for allegedly stealing a radio from a car. Wanting to put this issue behind him as soon as possible, Shyler Engel, PLLC arranged a plea agreement to drop the felony charge in exchange for a lesser misdemeanor larceny charge. Then, Shyler Engel, PLLC sought that the entire matter be placed under advisement pursuant to the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), which allows a person to have the charges dropped after successfully completing a term of probation. The Judge followed the recommendation and placed the client on HYTA probation, allowing him the opportunity to maintain a clean record.