Habitual Offender Statute With 25-Year Mandatory Minimum

Someone with a pending “serious” felony and three prior felony convictions, with at least one being a “listed offense,” faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison.

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What You Need to Know About Michigan’s Super Habitual Law

In Michigan, individuals charged with a “serious crime” who also have three or more prior felony convictions, including at least one “listed felony,” could face a severe mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years, as per Michigan’s Super Habitual law (MCL) 769.12. This stringent sentencing law is known as the “super habitual offender” law. After the defendant’s arraignment in circuit court, the prosecutor must file a timely notice of habitual sentencing enhancement to subject a defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence. The minimum compulsory provision of the habitual sentencing law doesn’t apply to offenses committed before October 2012.

What is a “serious crime” under the Super Habitual Law?

What exactly qualifies as a “serious crime”? As the Super Habitual law outlines, a range of offenses falls under this umbrella. Notable examples include second-degree murder, various forms of assault (including assault with intent to commit murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm), kidnapping, mayhem, and several degrees of criminal sexual conduct. Here are other examples:

  • Assault with Intent to Commit Murder
  • Assault by Strangulation or Domestic Strangulation
  • Assault with Intent to Maim
  • Assault with Intent to Rob and Steal While Unarmed or Armed
  • Second Degree Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Prisoner Taking Hostage(s)
  • Leading, Taking, Carrying Away, Decoying, or Enticing Away Child Under 14
  • Assault by Maiming
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct – 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-Degree
  • Assault With Intent to Penetrate
  • Use or Possession of Dangerous Weapon
  • Carjacking

What is a “listed crime” under the Super Habitual Law?

A “listed offense” in this sentencing law encompasses similar crimes. Remember, at least one of the defendant’s prior felony convictions must be a “listed offense,” or the Super Habitual law doesn’t apply to them. It includes second-degree murder, manslaughter, certain types of assault, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping of a minor, and a comprehensive list of other serious felonies. Also included are any attempts or conspiracies to commit these crimes. Here is a list of other “listed offenses”:

  • Fleeing and Eluding Causing Serious Injury or Death
  • OWI Causing Death
  • First or Second-Degree Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Attempted or Solicitation to Commit Murder
  • Assault with Intent to Commit Murder (AWIM)
  • Assault with Intent to Cause Great Bodily Harm (Assault GBH)
  • Assault by Strangulation or Domestic Strangulation
  • Assault with Intent to Maim
  • Assault with Intent to Rob While Armed or Unarmed
  • Armed Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Breaking or Escaping Jail
  • Fleeing and Eluding – 1st or 2nd Degree
  • Home Invasion
  • Arson of a Building
  • Felony Stalking
  • Felonious Assault
  • Discharging a Firearm from a Vehicle or Dwelling
  • Carrying a Dangerous Weapon with Unlawful Intent
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon
  • Felonious Assault
  • Kidnapping a Child Under 15 Years of Age
  • Child Abuse in the First Degree
  • Leading, Taking, Carrying Away, Decoying, or Enticing Away Child Under 14
  • Prisoner Taking Hostage(s)
  • 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, Rape, or Sodomize
  • Assault With the Intent to Commit a Felony
  • Drug Felonies Punishable by Greater Than Four Years
  • Vulnerable Adult Abuse
  • Conspiracy to commit any of the above-listed offenses
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Securing a knowledgeable, reputable, and experienced criminal defense attorney is critical given the gravity of a “serious crime” accusation and a potential super habitual offender designation. The Defense Team at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience and an unparalleled track record of achieving extraordinary results. If we are on your team, there is little we cannot accomplish for you. It’s important to note that the potential for a lower advisory sentence does not negate the mandatory nature of the super habitual sentence, which overrides advisory guideline ranges. So, even if the sentencing guidelines are relatively low, you still need a top defense lawyer to find a way to overcome the 25-year mandatory minimum under the Super Habitual law.

Defense Strategies For Fighting Against the Super Habitual Law

The defense can utilize several strategies when fighting against a mandatory minimum under the Super Habitual law. As you might imagine, those with multiple felony convictions get little favor or empathy from judges and prosecutors. For this reason, it is vital that the defendant work with a respected and influential defense attorney to secure the best odds of a favorable outcome.

  • Negotiating a plea to a lesser charge that doesn’t qualify as a “serious crime” avoids the 25-year mandatory minimum under the Super Habitual law.
  • It might be possible to secure a plea bargain with the prosecution to forgo the pursuit of super habitual sentencing. A prosecutor can eliminate the Super Habitual enhancement by dismissing it at the time of the plea. It is essential to have an attorney who will fight to get the prosecutor to avoid the 25-year penalty; the attorney must be bold, creative, and fearless in advocating for an acceptable plea to avoid this penalty.
  • There must be at least three prior felony convictions that did not arise from the same incident to trigger the Super Habitual law enhancement. This stipulation is crucial when considering the sequence and relationship of prior offenses. If one or two prior felony convictions were arguably part of the same incident, the defense can file a motion to dismiss the Super Habitual enhancement.
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The Bottom Line – Call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. Right Away

Facing criminal charges in Michigan, particularly under the specter of super habitual offender sentencing, underscores the necessity of experienced legal representation. If you’re in such a situation, it’s advisable to request a free consultation with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. right away to ensure your rights are protected and to navigate the complexities of your case effectively. If you call, we will take the time to speak with you, answer your questions, and work with you to develop a winning defense strategy!

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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