Beginning on March 24, 2021, 2020 PA 395 went into effect. This new legislation creates a rebuttable presumption for nonjail and nonprobationary sentences in certain misdemeanor cases. In other words, jail and probation will not be used as sentencing tools unless there is a reason to do the same.
Specifically, the law indicates that the court shall sentence an individual convicted of a misdemeanor, other than a serious misdemeanor, with a fine, community service, or other nonjail or nonprobation sentence. In other words, jail and probation are highly discouraged by the legislature in situations involving non-serious misdemeanors.
The legislature lists serious misdemeanors, which are those not included in this category. Following is a non-exclusive list of common serious misdemeanors:
- Assault and Battery
- Child Abuse – 4th Degree
- Intentionally Aiming a Firearm Without Malice
- Indecent Exposure
- OWI (if results in damage to someone’s property / physical injury or death to another individual)
- Using the Internet or a Computer to Make a Prohibited Communication.
Of course, there are situations where the court may depart from the presumption if the court finds reasonable grounds for the departure and states them on the reasons for the departure on the record.
At Hills at Law, P.C., our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you navigate the criminal justice system no matter the seriousness of your crime. Our attorneys are constantly furthering their education by attending trainings and staying up on the current laws.
To speak with an experienced attorney about your case, contact our firm.