Recent discussions between criminal defense attorneys comparing notes about district court judges in Oakland and Genesse counties have revealed that many of their MIP clients are subjected to jail sentences when they subsequently plead guilty to a violation of probation. The law prohibits any jail sentence for a minor that pleads guilty to possession of alcohol. In recent years, some district court judges have gotten around this prohibition by citing the defendant on a "contempt of court" charge, a misdemeanor that carries up to 93-days in jail. Other judges have simply ignored the law, tossing the probation violators in jail despite the protestations of their attorneys.
As the practice has spread among some judges in both Oakland and Genesse counties, members of the Criminal Defense Association of Michigan have began to organize a coordinated defense to the wrongful jailings.
If you or your family member is faced with a violation of probation charge and the underlying conviction was an MIP, contact a criminal defense lawyer before going to court. You could very possibly save you or your family member some jail time.