Michigan Super Habitual Sentencing Information

In Michigan, persons convicted of a “serious crime” that have at least 3 prior felonies, with one prior conviction being a “listed felony”, may be subject to a 25 year mandatory minimum prison sentence pursuant to Michigan Compiled Law 769.12.  This is commonly referred to as super habitual sentencing.

What is a “serious crime”?  Michigan Compiled Law 769.12(6)(c) provides a list of offenses that are defined by Michigan law as being serious crimes.  Included on that list are the following offenses: second degree murder, manslaughter, assault with intent to commit murder (AWIM), assault with intent to go great bodily harm (Assault GBH), assault by strangulation, assault with intent to maim, assault with intent to rob, armed, assault with intent to rob, armed, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping a child under 15 years of age, prisoner taking hostage, mayhem, Criminal Sexual Conduct in the first degree (CSC1), Criminal Sexual Conduct in the second degree (CSC2), Criminal Sexual Conduct in the third Degree (CSC3), assault with intent to penetrate, and conspiracy to commit any of the offenses listed in this paragraph.

What is a “listed offense”.  According to Michigan Compiled Law 769.12(a)(i)(ii) and (iii) the following offenses are included: second degree murder, manslaughter, felonious assault, assault with intent to commit murder (AWIM), assault with intent to go great bodily harm (assault GBH), assault by strangulation, assault with intent to maim, assault with intent to rob, armed, assault with intent to rob, armed, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping a child under 15 years of age, prisoner taking hostage, mayhem, Criminal Sexual Conduct in the first degree (CSC1), Criminal Sexual Conduct in the second degree (CSC2), Criminal Sexual Conduct in the third Degree (CSC3), assault with intent to penetrate, attempted murder, solicitation to commit murder, aggravated stalking, felony stalking with victim under 18 years, rioting in a state correctional facility, home invasion first degree, home invasion second degree, any drug offense punishable by more than 4 years in prison, child abuse first degree, child abuse second degree, vulnerable adult abuse first degree, vulnerable adult abuse second degree, assault of employee during escape, fleeing and eluding first degree, fleeing and eluding second degree, impaired driving causing death, arson of dwelling house, carrying weapon with unlawful intent, carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), felony firearm (second or subsequent offense), intentional discharge of firearm at vehicle, intentional discharge of firearm at dwelling, intentional discharge of firearm at emergency or law enforcement vehicle, and attempt to commit any of the offenses listed in this paragraph.

For any listed offense you need to have a lawyer in your corner to protect you.  Hiring an experienced criminal lawyer, like attorney Daniel Hilf, may be one of the best decisions you ever make.

The fact that the advisory sentence guidelines may be much lower than 25 years is not a defense.  The super habitual is a mandatory sentence that trumps the advisory guideline range.

What are the defenses to this super habitual sentencing:

  1. Obviously, being acquitted of the “serious crime” is a defense.
  2. A plea bargain, if possible, to an offense that is not categorized as a “serious crime” may be a solution.
  3. An agreement with the prosecution to not pursue super habitual sentencing sometimes is possible.
  4. Just being convicted of a “serious crime” and a “listed offense”.  alone is not a basis for the 25 year mandatory minimum.  There has to be at least 3 prior felonies.  However, according to Michigan Compiled Law 769.12(1)(a) not more than 1 conviction arising out of the same transaction shall be considered a prior conviction for the purposes of this subsection only.    For example, if a person was convicted of a serious crime and had prior convictions for armed robbery, felonious assault, and possession of a controlled substance would not be subject to super habitual sentencing if the armed robbery and felonious assault stemmed from the same incident.  Again, the three prior convictions must be based on offenses that did not occur during the same transaction.
  5. Your lawyer may be able to argue that offenses that occurred before the effective date of the law should not be considered because it would constitute an ex post factor violation.

For any criminal charge the best advice for you is to retain an experienced lawyer to help you receive the best possible result.  It is recommended that you contact attorney Daniel Hilf immediately for any criminal law related representation.