Residents in Michigan may benefit from learning more about the state’s guidelines for felony sentencing. The most recent changes to the guidelines during 2014 have made it a felony offense to engage in certain activities with ammunitions. These guidelines are intended for felony offenses with indeterminate sentences. The guidelines are not applicable to offenses that carry a mandatory determinate penalty or life-sentence. Previous convictions are also considered when a judge issues sentencing to a defendant, and habitual offenders may receive sentencing that’s 25 to 100 percent longer than normal.
The guidelines categorize felonies into six groups: crimes against public trust, crimes against public safety, crimes against public order, crimes involving controlled substances, crimes against property and crimes against people. The state distinguishes four classes of crime: substantive offenses, attempted offenses, offenses with variable maximums and habitual offense sentencing. People facing a variable sentence maximum may have multiple charges for one crime — charges of crimes against property and crimes against people for one arson offense, for example.
According to the state’s guidelines, Class A offenses and second degree murder carry a life-sentence term of imprisonment. Class B, C and D felony offenses carry sentences of up to 20, 15 and 10 years, respectively. Class E offenses have a maximum sentence of five years, while Class F offenses carry up to four years. Glass G felony offenses have a two-year sentence maximum, and Class H offenses may lead to detainment in jail or other intermediate action.
Individuals facing felony charges in Michigan may benefit from finding a criminal defense lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to protect the defendant’s rights to due process and evaluate if the case can be dismissed based on misconduct or a critical error. Lawyers might be able to help the defendant obtain lesser charges by weakening the prosecution’s case or by negotiating a plea bargain.
Source: Michigan Courts, “State of Michigan sentencing guidelines manual“, September 19, 2014