Reduction, Dismissal, Delayed Sentencing for Criminal Sexual Conduct Second Degree and Criminal Sexual Conduct Fourth Degree
A conviction for either a criminal sexual conduct second degree or a criminal sexual conduct fourth degree have much less severe sentence consequences than a conviction for a criminal sexual conduct first or criminal sexual conduct third degree, because there are various options for delaying, reducing, or dismissing all or a portion of the sentence for these convictions. Our sex crimes attorneys have a wealth of experience at advocating for delayed sentencing and sentence reductions. We have specialized in the criminal defense of criminal sexual conduct for two decades, and understand how important it is to properly prepare an impressive presentation for the judge, because he or she needs to be at ease in the knowledge that they are making a sound decision issuing a delayed, dismissed or reduced sentence. In this section, we will look at the different post-conviction sentencing options under the law.
Criminal sexual conduct second degree and criminal sexual conduct fourth degree are serious charges, but thankfully, probation is an applicable penalty for both crimes. As part of the court's discretion, the judge can issue a provisional, probationary period, and during that time sentencing for the conviction is delayed. The law for delayed sentencing is MCL 771.1(2) and allows the court to delay sentencing for up to one year. This year period is an opportunity to show how well the person is following the law and contributing to society. If after one year of probation, the person has complied and done well, then a judge can sentence the person to an additional period of probation without assigning time in prison or dismiss the case without additional punishment.
One additional consideration for a delayed sentence is a mandatory supervision fee. The yearly fee can either be paid all at once or in monthly installments with the court’s approval. The fee is determined based on the person’s projected monthly income, and there is an upper limit of $135 per month. Therefore, the most a person could be required to pay for monthly supervision during a delayed sentence of one year is $135 per month.
Conditional Sentences for Criminal Sexual Conduct Second Degree and Criminal Sexual Conduct Fourth Degree
Under MCL 769.3(1) the law provides the court with the discretion to issue a sentence of probation that is conditional on the person paying fines, costs, damages, restitution, or any combination of those costs in a limited time designated by the court. This opportunity is not available for people convicted of criminal sexual conduct first degree or criminal sexual conduct third degree and consequently, is only available to people convicted of criminal sexual conduct second degree and criminal sexual conduct fourth degree.
A conditional sentence is similar to a delayed sentence, but instead of the restrictions of probation and a nominal monthly supervisory fee, the person is also required to pay restitution. The Crime Victims’ Rights Act determines restitution and the judge may also require the person to pay for the cost of prosecution. The defining characteristic is that if a person defaults on their payments, then the court may impose a more severe sentence including the revocation of probation and imposing a prison sentence.
Sentence Reduction and Dismissal of Sentence
Under MCL 771.2 a person convicted of an offense that is not a felony may not be sentenced to probation for more than a period of two years. Since criminal sexual conduct fourth degree is not a felony, the maximum period of probation is two years.
Criminal sexual conduct second degree is a felony so that the probationary period can be longer. However, there is a provision in the law that provides for the potential of a sentence reduction in the terms of felony probation. The provision requires the probationer to complete half of the felony probationary period, then the department of probation will notify the sentencing court that the required time is complete. The sentencing court will then schedule a hearing to determine if the probationer’s conduct during the period of probation warrants a reduction in the period of probation. The probationer will have an opportunity to be heard and have an attorney present to state their case for why they should have a reduction in sentence.
The sentencing court has broad discretion to reduce the term of the probation and can reduce the sentence by as much as 100%. Therefore, if the hearing goes well, and the probationer demonstrates compelling evidence showing that they have complied with the terms of their probation and any required rehabilitation or counseling that was required, then the judge may decide to dismiss the remainder of the probation sentence. Presenting additional evidence of employment, volunteer work, or self-improvement to demonstrate a person’s rehabilitation and ability to contribute positively to society may also be beneficial.
The judge has broad discretion and can also reduce the term of the probation by any amount; for example, the sentencing judge could reduce the remainder of the probation sentence by half. It is worth noting that not less than 28 days before the reduction in sentence hearing the court must notify the victim from the original case. The law provides the victim has an opportunity to make a statement to the sentencing court as to why there should not be a reduction in the sentence. Consequently, it is a good idea to have an attorney present for this opportunity, because success at the hearing can translate into a meaningful reduction in the total amount of time a person must spend on probation.
Grabel & Associates Approach to Sentence Reduction, Dismissal The law provides valuable tools for delaying, reducing, and dismissing a sentence for criminal sexual conduct second degree or criminal sexual conduct fourth degree, and we utilize these options to their fullest potential. Consequently, our approach is to see you or the person you care about to serve the least amount of time possible under the law. We will work with you to prepare evidence of compliance and upright behavior that judges look for in making decisions to delay, reduce, or dismiss sentences. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-883-2138 to schedule a free consultation and to formulate a plan of action to minimize the terms of your sentence.