The Michigan Supreme Court has just ruled that a man’s due process rights were violated when the trial court judge failed to inform him that if he plead guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct or second-degree criminal sexual conduct, he would face mandatory lifetime electronic monitoring.
Michigan law treats sex crimes very seriously, with prosecutors seeking harsh punishment. If you are under investigation for or have been charged with any Michigan sex crime, it is important to speak to an aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer right away.
In Michigan v. Cole, David Cole was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct 2d degree pursuant to MCL 750.520©(1)(a). Under Michigan law, a conviction for CSC-2d degree carries with it a potential 15 years’ imprisonment. In exchange for his no-contest plea, the court agreed to a five-year concurrent cap on the minimum sentence. Significantly though the court failed to tell Cole that if he accepted the deal and if sentenced to prison, he would face lifetime electronic monitoring.
Although Cole tried to amend his plea, the trial court denied his motion. However, both the Michigan Court of Appeals and now the Michigan Supreme Court disagreed. The Supreme Court determined that mandatory lifetime electronic monitoring is part of the sentence itself. As a result, at the time of a plea the court must inform the defendant of this consequence.
Michigan law, MCR 6.302 provides that a “court may not accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere unless it is convinced that the plea is understanding, voluntary, and accurate.” Here, the Supreme Court determined that it’s not possible to find that a defendant has entered an “understanding and voluntary plea” if they don’t know all of the consequences of a plea.
Understanding exactly what sentence you face is a critical part of any plea. It’s crucial to have an experienced criminal trial attorney represent you at each step of the criminal trial process to protect your rights and your future.
For more information, or if you are facing any criminal charges, contact the top Michigan criminal defense lawyers at Grabel & Associates for an immediate consultation.