With each legislative session, the laws in Michigan are in flux and criminal laws are no exception. While the number of crimes committed in Michigan is at a 50-year low, the number of people jailed for crimes has gone up threefold since the 1970s. Some Michigan legislators have noted this problem, and the legislature is currently considering several changes to the state’s criminal laws.
One proposal is to revoke or suspend a person’s driver’s license only for crimes related to driving safety. Another proposal is to require cash bail only when a person is at risk of absconding or hurting another person or themselves and is also facing charges for a violent crime or serious nonviolent crime.
Another proposal is to change some crimes that are currently considered misdemeanors to civil infractions, meaning offenders would be fined but not arrested. In addition, there has been a proposal to remove failure to appear in court as a criminal offense and instead classify it as a civil infraction. Another proposal is to permit police officers to ticket a person instead of arresting them with regards to misdemeanor crimes except for crimes involving domestic violence.
There are other proposals being considered that have not been discussed in this post. Ultimately, readers should do their due diligence and take the steps necessary to understand what these changes would mean for them. Attorneys in Grand Rapids may be a useful resource for those who need information on current criminal law in Michigan and any changes being proposed to these laws.