St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Reform for Juvenile Prosecution Policy Stalls in Michigan Legislature

Juvenile Prosecution Policy

Juvenile offenders charged with crimes in Michigan do not always face criminal prosecution. If they are placed on the juvenile consent calendar, no formal plea enters the court record and the offender may atone for the crime in a way the court deems appropriate for the circumstances. A bill aimed at setting rules for judges in these cases has stalled in the state legislature.

How the Juvenile Consent Calendar Works

When a defendant has record and/or the crime in question has not had a serious impact on the community, a juvenile defense attorney in Michigan may push for the case to be moved to the juvenile consent calendar. In this informal process, a judge may recommend rehabilitation, reimbursement to victims or other measures in order to keep the juvenile’s record free of criminal offenses.

No fingerprinting or pleas enter the court record. The calendar is in place so juveniles have a chance to correct mistakes made due to immaturity, thereby avoiding the early entry to the penal system that has affected many young offenders negatively. Ideas for reforming the calendar, which led to the bill that’s stalled in the Michigan House, came from the legal community.

New Rules for Judges in Juvenile Cases

A juvenile defense attorney works on behalf of defendants charged with crime to achieve the best possible resolution from legal proceedings. Sometimes, the best path forward involves the juvenile consent calendar. In the bill that came before the Michigan House, the prosecutor must agree with the juvenile and parent or guardian that the offense is appropriate for the consent calendar. Victims must also be notified.

If the offense is violent or otherwise considered better off in criminal court, the bill in the House would prohibit the case from being placed on the consent calendar. A Senate vote of 37-0 sent the bill to the House before it was tabled. A Cass County judge joined the Republican sponsor of the bill in hoping the bill would be taken up soon.

When in need of a defense attorney that is competent, experienced and respected, contact the highly sought after Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC. We have been helping clients successfully for over 45 years and are here to help. For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 269.982.1100 or visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com.

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