Can You Be Discharged Early from Probation?
By Daniel T. Geherin
Michigan has seen many changes to its criminal justice system over the past year. Part of that is due to the research and findings of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, which was created in 2019 by Governor Whitmer. This diverse team comprised of 21 members including law enforcement officers, senators, members of the Michigan House of Representatives and attorneys.
The Michigan Joint Task Force found that Michigan had the 6th highest rate of individuals on community supervision in the country, which means hundreds of thousands of people were at risk of facing jail time if they violated probation. The most common reason for arrest was missed court appearances.
At the beginning of 2021, legislation that amended Michigan’s probation and parole terms went into effect. The new law reduced the maximum probation term for most felonies from five years to three years. It also established criteria for early discharge from probation for most misdemeanors and felonies. After an individual completes half of their probation period, they may be eligible for an early discharge. The individual must be notified at sentencing of their eligibility for early discharge, the requirements, and how to notify the court of their eligibility.
If you have completed all the requirements, the probation department may notify the sentencing court that you’re eligible for early discharge. If the probation department doesn’t notify the sentencing court, and you haven’t violated their probation three months prior, then you can notify the court that you’re eligible for early discharge. The court may also use its own discretion in considering whether an individual is suitable for early discharge from probation.
Clients may fill out the Early Probation Discharge Form.
If you’re on probation and have questions about how this new legislation affects you, please contact the Geherin Law Group. Dan Geherin, owner of the firm, has defended thousands of criminal cases in Ann Arbor and throughout Southeastern Michigan. Dan is a former prosecutor and board-certified criminal trial attorney in Ann Arbor who has been practicing law for 25+ years. He has prosecuted, defended and litigated nearly every type of criminal case, including criminal sexual conduct offenses, homicide cases, narcotic violations, domestic violence charges, embezzlement and fraud investigations, theft offenses, personal injury, and countless drunk driving allegations. Dan has helped over 3,000 clients in criminal, civil, juvenile and license cases throughout Michigan, and he’s completed over 200 trials.
Every day, Dan and his team help clients seek and receive early discharge from probation. If a probation agent won’t assist or resists your attempt, we can file a formal motion with the sentencing Judge to seek your release.