Predatory Conduct Under the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines
Prosecutors and judges tend to go out of their way at sentencing on a felony to increase the sentencing guidelines as much as possible. The Michigan Sentencing Guidelines contain multiple variables that are scored and calculated to determine a recommended sentence for a circuit court judge to use at a sentencing hearing. The guidelines are advisory and not mandatory.
One of the tools most frequently used by prosecutors is Michigan Complied Law 777.40 which instructs that Offense Variable 10 should be scored when a defendant engages in predatory conduct toward a victim or exploits a vulnerable victim. Prosecutors frequently use a very liberal and loose definition of “predatory conduct” to justify scoring this guideline.
A great defense lawyer will be familiar with the latest case law and always be prepared to argue for a reduction in the sentencing guidelines and also be prepared to counter any argument made by the prosecution to increase the guidelines. A “victim” for purposes of this offense variable is a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action. A person without an injury is not a victim. “Vulnerability” refers to “the readily apparent susceptibility of a victim to injury, physical restraint, persuasion, or temptation.” MCL 777.40(3)(c). Just because an alleged victim is injured, does not make that person automatically vulnerable. There must be an apparent and particularized weakness or predilection to injury or victimization. Finally, “predatory conduct” is “pre-offense conduct directed at a victim for the primary purpose of victimization.” Run-of-the-mill planning is insufficient. There must be pre-offense conduct that is undertaken for the primary purpose of victimization of the particular, vulnerable victim.
Prosecutors and courts are not used to being confronted by a defense lawyer who is not afraid to stand up for his client, who is prepared with a credible factual and legal argument, and who will fight for that client regardless of any pressure or attempt at intimidation. The lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are familiar with all aspects of criminal law and provide clients with the highest possible level of service, results and dedication.
Call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. Today
If you have a concern about a felony or misdemeanor charge and you are looking to hire a great criminal defense lawyer, call us at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and a highly skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney will promptly contact you.