August, 2020

We offer, on a continuing basis, summaries of recently signed, recently passed, and important proposed state legislation as a supplement to our annual survey.  


Create Felony of Submitting Absentee
Ballot Application Using Another’s Name

SBs 977 and 978 would amend MCL 168.759 and MCL 777.11d to make knowingly submitting an absentee ballot application using another person’s name and personal identification information a Class E felony. The Senate passed the bills on June 25, 2020. See also HBs 5880 and 5881. 

Make Driving with
License Suspended, Revoked, or Denied
a Civil Infraction (First Offense)

HB 5802 would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code to make a first violation of driving with a license suspended, revoked, or denied a civil infraction. HBs 5803 and 5804 would remove the exceptions for first violations from reporting and biometric data collection because the exceptions would no longer be needed under HB 5302. The House passed the bills on July 21, 2020.  

Modify Vehicle Violations

HBs 5685 – 5691 would amend various statutes in the Motor Vehicle Code to modify vehicle violations. For example, HB 5685 would amend various statutes to make driving an unregistered vehicle a civil infraction rather than a misdemeanor. The House passed the bills on July 21, 2020. 

Create 20-Year Felony for
“Social and Domestic Anarchy”

HB 5900 would amend MCL 750.543b and add MCL 750.543g to create the crime of “social and domestic anarchy” for an act that would be a violent felony under Michigan law that a person knows or has reason to know would be dangerous to life or destructive of property done with the intention to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence or affect the conduct of a government or unit of government. The crime would be a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison or a fine of not more than $250,000. The bill was introduced in the House on June 24, 2020.  

Create “Law Enforcement Disciplinary Act”

SB 992 would create the “law enforcement disciplinary act,” which would, among other things, prohibit a law enforcement officer from using excessive force on an individual in the course of the officer’s duties, require an officer who observes the use of excessive force by another officer to intervene verbally or physically to stop the observed use of excessive force, and require law enforcement agencies to have a written policy regarding the use of excessive force. The bill was introduced in the Senate on June 25, 2020. 

Establish Oversight Authority and
Procedure for Investigation and
Prosecution of Police Misconduct

SB 993 would amend 1846 RS 14 by adding section 53a to establish oversight authority and procedure for the investigation and prosecution of police misconduct. The bill was introduced in the Senate on June 25, 2020. 

Require Parent Notification Before
Juvenile Interrogation

HB 5971 would add section 27b to Chapter IV of the Code of Criminal Procedure to specify requirements for the interrogation of a juvenile in custodial detention including requiring prior notification to a parent, guardian, or attorney, and excluding for any purpose admissions or confessions made during the in-custody interrogation of a juvenile without a parent, guardian or attorney present. The bill was introduced in the House on July 22, 2020. 

Create Crime of
Officer Criminal Sexual Conduct

HB 5978 would amend MCL 750.520a and other statutes to create the crime of criminal sexual conduct by a law enforcement officer engaging in sexual penetration or conduct with an individual in the officer’s custody. The bill was introduced in the House on July 22, 2020. See also SB 990.

Require Officers Executing Warrant to
Identify Themselves and Their Purpose

SB 1016 would amend MCL 780.656 to require officers executing a search warrant to identify themselves and to give appropriate notice of the purpose of the search before entering a premises; evidence obtained in violation of the requirement would be inadmissible for any purpose. The bill was introduced in the Senate on July 22, 2020. 

Authorize Officers to Issue
Appearance Tickets In Lieu of Arrest

SB 1046 would amend MCL 764.9c and 764.9f to require officers to issue an appearance ticket and release an individual in lieu of arrest for certain misdemeanor offenses or ordinance violations unless certain specified conditions justifying arrest apply. The bill was introduced in the Senate on July 22, 2020. 

Modify Bench-Warrant Procedure to
Allow Appearance Without Arrest

SB 1047 would amend MCL 764.9e and add and amend other statutes to allow persons against whom bench or arrest warrants are issued to appear in court without execution of the warrant unless assaultive or domestic violence crimes are involved. The bill was introduced in the Senate on July 23, 2020. 

Eliminate 2-year
Mandatory Consecutive Sentence for
First Felony Firearm Conviction

HB 5994 would amend MCL 750.227b to make a first felony-firearm conviction punishable by no more than three years; the term of imprisonment for a first violation could be served concurrently or consecutively to the term imposed for the felony conviction. The bill was introduced in the House on July 23, 2020.

Create Presumption for
Non-Jail, Non-Probationary Sentences for
Certain Misdemeanors

SB 1048 would amend MCL 769.5 and 769.34 to create a presumption that a person convicted of a non-serious misdemeanor will be sentenced with a fine, community service, or some other non-jail, non-probationary sanction; the presumption is rebuttable on certain specified grounds. The bill was introduced in the Senate on July 23, 2020. 

Extend HYTA Status to
Offenses Committed Before
26th Birthday

SB 1049 would amend MCL 762.11 to extend the time for eligibility for youthful trainee status to an individual’s twenty-sixth birthday. The bill was introduced in the Senate on July 23, 2020. 

Limit Felony Probation to
Three Years, Tailor Conditions

SB 1050 would amend various sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure to, among other things, limit the term of probation for a felony conviction to three years (which can be extended by one year under certain conditions) and to require that conditions of probation imposed be tailored to the probationer. The bill was introduced in the Senate on July 23, 2020.

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor