Michigan Supreme Court Eliminating Sentencing Guidelines

In 2015 the Michigan Supreme Court wrote an opinion eliminating sentencing guidelines, which meant that felony sentencings would change after People v Lockridge. Prior to this opinion, courts were required to follow sentencing guidelines, unless the judge or court were able to specifically articulate a reasoning (after specific findings) to divert or go against the recommended sentencing guidelines within the particular case at hand. Eliminating sentencing guidelines, as was held in People Lockridge, removed this mandate and requirement of following sentencing guidelines here in the State of Michigan.

Essentially, the Court ruled that mandatory guidelines violated the 6th Amendment by requiring a mandatory minimum, and inevitably eliminating sentencing guidelines. It must be noted that the entire sentencing guideline system was not eradicated, but rather it was softened and loosened by providing judges with more discretion when rendering a sentence. Prior to the Lockridge opinion, Judges were required to find a substantial and compelling reason to depart from the sentencing guidelines, which would then be established by the defendant or the facts provided to the jury.

The Michigan Supreme Court, extended a prior U.S. Supreme Court opinion that provided a similar conclusion regarding the federal sentencing guidelines. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Apprendi, originally ruled that the federal guidelines also are discretionary, yet they too must be considered. Therefore, in Michigan the sentencing guidelines essentially become advisory for courts; however, the court must still justify the sentence imposed and consult the guidelines. In the end, it can be seen how the sentencing court essentially eliminated sentencing guidelines, but they are not thrown out the window.

No matter the situation, or the crime, a criminal defense attorney is essential. They provide necessary information, guidance, and assistance for felonies and misdemeanors. Eliminating Sentencing Guidelines influences felony crimes, but misdemeanors too can bring about jail and confinement. So whenever you are charged or could be charged with a crime here in the State of Michigan, contact your criminal lawyer. Josh Jones is here 7-days a week.

DO NOT RELY ON THESE LEGAL OPINIONS AND OBSERVATIONS WHEN REPRESENTING YOURSELF IN COURT. THESE ARTICLES ARE NOT MEANT TO COMPENSATE OR EFFECUATE LEGAL REPRESENTATION. YOU SHOULD AND MUST CONTACT AN ATTORNEY AND DISCUSS WITH HIM OR HER THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY AND ALL IDEAS, STATEMENTS, OPINIONS, EXPRESSIONS OR OTHERWISE STATED ON THIS SITE. HOPE TO SPEAK WITH YOU SOON.

About Josh Jones

Josh Jones is an experienced and professional Michigan Criminal Defense attorney presenting Metro Detroit, Genesee County, Livingston County, Lapeer County, and others throughout the State of Michigan. He is available 7-days a week and handles all felonies, misdemeanors, probation violations, traffic tickets, and drivers license restoration. Josh is only a phone call away and is here to help when you are involved with the criminal justice system.