Michigan Minor in Possession
We’re going to set it for a formal hearing and not go plead guilty. Why just go plead guilty, what’s the benefit?
Might as well set it for a hearing, make the officer show up and testify. In the end, if the prosecutor and police officer do 100 percent their job, you have the same result in the end. It’s more likely the officer doesn’t show, the prosecutor doesn’t want to waste time on the hearing, or the officer doesn’t remember such a “small incident” and can’t provide the necessary proof to the court.
For most college town MIP cases, the officer is handing out 100’s of tickets a day, do you really remember my clients case? Probably not.
What’s going to end up happening is the prosecutor is going to be leveraged into offering something other than a minor in possession civil charge, which is what we want. So here are your options if charged with a first MIP in Michigan from 2018 and beyond.
2. Be proactive from day one, explore defenses, create leverage by having the opportunity to set a hearing, work toward a different resolution or hold the hearing and win; worse case, you end up with #1, and have a better chance of avoiding having to do the community service and counseling as part of a probation term.
Here’s how things might play out with the prosecutor under the new law with this approach.
Me: So it's just a civil infraction now?
Me: Great, let's hold the formal hearing!!
Prosecutor: Whatttta mean?
Me: Let's hold it - your cop has no idea who jimmy, john or paul are, and can't remember each ticket
Prosecutor: Ughhhh, keep your voice down, don't want the other lawyers hearing this
Me: Let's really see if my client said X, Y or Z or if they really had alcohol in that cup, might as well, worst case, my client takes the civil infraction right?
Prosecutor: Crap, you didn't want to hold these when it was a misdemeanor, because losing meant a criminal record
Me: Right. Do you want to offer me something to avoid this hearing? Impeding? Littering?
Prosecutor: Ughhh, yeah I guess