Specialty courts are just that, special. Due to a lack of uniformity with specialty courts in the state of Michigan, the criminal defense attorney must know about all such programs available. Courts such as “Mental Health Court,” “Drug Court,” and “Veterans Court” can be amazing tools to keep a defendant out of prison, but each court has its own unique rules. For example, in Livingston County, to be allowed in “Drug Court,” the defendant must be a resident of said county and plead guilty as charged. In Lapeer County, “Mental Health Court” can provide freedom from prosecution but is only available for a limited number of charges. In Shiawassee County, we are involved in the implementation of their new “Mental Health” Court which will provide citizens a chance at rehabilitation. It is also important to note that a simple referral to a specialty court will not always equate to acceptance in that court.

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