October-November, 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.


Set-Aside Allowed for Certain Convictions

2020 PA 189 (HBs 4980-4985, 5120, effective April 11, 2021) also known as Clean Slate legislation, amends various statutes to allow certain convictions (including certain traffic and marijuana convictions) to be set aside (expunged), to modify the procedure and requirements for conviction set-asides, and to increase the number of set-asides a person can receive. HB 4980 would make expungement automatic for certain convictions. The Governor signed the act on October 12, 2020. 


Expand Venue for Prosecution of Delivery of a Controlled Substance Causing Death

SB 20 would amend 750.317a to allow a violation for delivery of a controlled substance causing death to  be prosecuted in the county where the controlled substance was made, the county where the substance was consumed, or the county where the death caused by the delivery of the controlled substance occurred. The Senate passed the bill on September 30, 2020. 


Create Mitigating Offense Variables

HBs 6212, 6213, and 6215-6227 would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure by adding various sections to create offense variables that include discretionary reductions in offense variable points for factors including attempt to disengage from the crime, age, acceptance of responsibility, certain military or civic service, evidence of rehabilitation, and other mitigating factors. Certain new offense variables, such as “impact on the victim” (HB 6217), include discretionary reductions or additions to offense variable points. The bills were introduced in the House on September 15, 2020.

Seal Arrest Records When Individual Not Charged or Convicted

HBs 6255 and 6256 would amend MCL 28.243 and MCL 764.26a to require the sealing of arrest records and the removal of the arrest record from ICHAT when an individual is not charged or convicted. The bills were introduced in the House on September 23, 2020. 

Add Prostitution and Human Trafficking to Rule Allowing Certain Hearsay in Domestic Violence Prosecutions

HB 6263 would amend MCL 768.27c to allow hearsay statements that purport to narrate or describe the infliction or threat of physical injury in prosecutions for prostitution or human trafficking. The bill was introduced in the House on September 24, 2020.

Close Juvenile Adjudication Proceedings to the Public

SB 1147 would amend MCL 712A.17 to require the exclusion of the general public from juvenile adjudication proceedings. Under the bill, an individual without party status may be admitted to the proceedings if the court finds that the individual has a proper interest in the case. The bill was introduced in the Senate on September 24, 2020. 

Make Looters/Vandals Ineligible for Public Assistance Benefits

HB 6269 would add section 57aa to the Social Welfare Act to make an individual charged with looting, vandalism, or a violent crime stemming from or related to civil unrest ineligible for public assistance benefits for one year. The bill was introduced in the House on September 29, 2020.

Create “Reporting of Law Enforcement Officer Misconduct Privacy Act”

SB 1166 would create the Reporting of Law Enforcement Officer Misconduct Privacy Act to protect the identity of persons making misconduct complaints against law enforcement officers. The bill was introduced in the Senate on October 1, 2020. 

Create Offense of False Crime Report Based on Race

SB 1167 would amend the Michigan Penal Code by adding MCL 750.147c to create the offense of making a false report of a crime to law enforcement based solely upon the alleged perpetrator’s race or ethnicity. The bill was introduced in the Senate on October 1, 2020. 

Require Reduction in Probation for Compliance in Certain Substance Abuse Programs

SB 1183 would amend MCL 771.2 to require a reduction of 90 days in a term of probation for every six months that the qualified probationer complies with the requirements of a medication-assisted program for alcohol or opioid abuse approved by the MDOC. Probationers who commit certain offenses while on probation are ineligible for the reduction regardless of compliance with such a program. The bill was introduced in the Senate on October 8, 2020. 

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor