Violent Offender Statute – 4th / Michigan Compiled Laws MLC §769.12(1)(a)

On October 1, 2012, the Michigan Legislature amended MCL §769.12 to make certain persons eligible for a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence upon conviction of a “Serious Crime” or a “Conspiracy to Commit a Serious Crime”. This amendment is known commonly amongst attorneys as the Violent Offender stature.

 

A serious crime is defined by the statute as an offense against a person, under various sections of the Michigan Penal Code. They include but are not limited to crimes such as Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder, Unarmed Robbery, Kidnapping, Carjacking, and the majority of sex-related felonies.

 

In practice, this amended statute can put individuals who might otherwise be facing a year or two in prison upon conviction, into a situation where they need to weigh out whether to plea out, or go to trial and face a sentence upwards of ten times that length.

 

An individual because eligible for Violent Offender status, and the mandatory minimum 25 years in prison, if he/she has three or more prior felony convictions, and at least one of those prior convictions was for a “listed felony”. Within the statute, a “listed felony” is much broader in scope than the term “serious Crime” or “conspiracy to Commit a Serious Crime”.

 

Thus a person facing a charge of Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder (10 year statutory maximum felony), who has two minor felony convictions, and one conviction for something like Possession of Methamphetamine, or Delivery of a small Quantity of Cocaine, can face the very real possibility of 25 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. Without the statute, the same person may very well be looking at a sentencing Guideline Range of 10-46 months in jail/prison, which at worst is less than 1/6th of the Violent Offender mandatory minimum.

 

These types of considerations are immensely important for a criminal defense attorney, and a criminal defendant to take into account. If you or a loved one face the possibility of “Violent Offender” status, please contact us or give Hills Law a call.

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