May, 2021

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 Offense of Sale, Delivery, or
 Distribution of Drug Masking Product

SB 134 would add MCL 750.410c to the Michigan Penal Code to prohibit the sale, delivery, or distribution of a drug masking product (such as synthetic urine made for the purpose of defrauding drug or alcohol testing). Violation of the new offense would be a misdemeanor unless the violation was for commercial purposes (providing the product for money), in which case the offense would be a five-year felony. The Senate passed the bill on April 21, 2021. HB 4653, containing similar provisions, was introduced in the House on April 15, 2021. 

Create Child Abuse Offenders Database Act

SB 371 would create the Child Abuse Offenders Database Act, which would require the Michigan State Police to maintain a database of individuals convicted of “child abuse offenses” (defined in the bill) in the state that would include the offender’s name, date of birth, and municipality of residence. The Senate passed the bill on April 28, 2021. 

Set Expungement Period for First OWI

SB 400 would amend MCL 780.621d to set the period for seeking an expungement of a first OWI offense. The bill is tie-barred with HB 4219 and HB 4220, which together with SB 400 would allow expungement for a first OWI offense under certain circumstances. The Senate passed the bill on May 5, 2021. 


Create Michigan Indigent
Juvenile Defense Department Act

HB 4620 would create the Michigan Indigent Juvenile Defense Department Act, which provides for a departent that would, among other things, propose minimum standards for the local delivery of indigent juvenile defense services providing effective assistance of counsel to juveniles throughout the state. The bill was introduced in the House on April 13, 2021. 

Create “Productivity Credits” for
Incarcerated Individuals

HB 4670 would amend 1893 PA 118 (MCL 800.33-800.61) by adding section 33a to allow persons incarcerated in the MDOC to earn productivity credits for being enrolled in vocational or educational programs (20 days for each month enrolled), completing a designated program (90 days), or earning a high-school diploma, its equivalency, or a higher education degree (120 days). The bill was introduced in the House on April 21, 2021. HB 4673, also introduced on April 21, 2021, would require victim notification when an incarcerated individual becomes eligible for productivity credits. 

Create Offense of Falsely Raising
Active Shooter Alarm

HB 4698 would add MCL 750.499 to the Michigan Penal Code to create the offense of falsely raising an active shooter alarm in a public place (a misdemeanor). The bill defines “active shooter alarm” as “an alarm system designed to alert individuals inside that place that there is an active shooter on or near the premises.” The bill was introduced in the House on April 22, 2021. 

Expand Bodily Fluids Subject to
Testing for Intoxication

HB 4701 would amend various sections of the Motor Vehicle Code to expand testing for intoxication to include “other bodily fluids,” defined as “fluid from the human body capable of revealing the presence of controlled substances or their metabolites including but not limited to oral fluid or saliva.” The bill was introduced in the House on April 22, 2021. 

Require Immediate Incarceration for
Certain Offenses

HB 4719 would amend ML 750.316 to require that a person convicted of an offense for which life without parole is the punishment to be housed in the Department of Corrections immediately after conviction. The bill was introduced in the House on April 27, 2021.

Create Offense of Performing an Abortion
Sought Due to Race, Sex, or Disability

HB 4737 would amend 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.1-750.568) by adding section 14a to prohibit an individual from knowingly performing, inducing, or attempting to perform or induce an abortion that is sought because of race, sex, or disability. Violation of the offense would be a two-year felony. The bill was introduced in the House on April 29, 2021.

Allow Defendants to File
“Emergency Motions”

HB 4795 would amend MCL 761.11 to allow a defendant to file an emergency motion with the court alleging a deprivation of liberty, a constitutional violation, or a matter that would result in irreparable harm to the defendant if not heard on an emergency basis. The bill would require courts to hear emergency motions within 24 hours (deprivation of liberty) or 48 hours (other allegations). A person falsifying information in an emergency motion would be subject to contempt. The bill was introduced in the House on May 5, 2021.

Allow Term Reduction for Qualified
Probationers/Parolees in Certain Programs

SB 423 would amend MCL 771.2 to allow the reduction in the term of probation for “qualified probationers” in compliance with the requirements of the medication-assisted program for the treatment of an alcohol use disorder or opiod use disorder approved by the Department of Corrections. A “qualified probationer” means an individual serving one or more probation terms for a controlled substance violation or another nonviolent offense that the court record indicates was primarily the result of controlled substance or alcohol use. The bill was introduced in the Senate on May 6, 2021. SB 424, which would amend MCL 791.238 and MCL 791.242 to allow reductions in parole under similar circumstances, was also introduced in the Senate on May 6, 2021.

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor