The Michigan Supreme Court has closed a file on a proposed amendment described in a staff comment as follows:
This proposed amendment of MCR 6.302 would reinsert a requirement that a court advise a defendant who pleads guilty that the defendant’s maximum possible prison sentence may be longer than the maximum possible prison sentence for a particular offense if the defendant falls within the parameters of the habitual offender statute (MCL 769.13). The statute allows a prosecutor to notify the defendant that the prosecutor intends to seek an enhanced sentence after the defendant pleads guilty. Thus, the sentence range given by the court may not take into account any sentence enhancement at the plea hearing.
The State Bar of Michigan opposed the proposed published amendment, noting that the proposal prompted considerable debate within the criminal law community. Some attorneys were concerned that the proposed amendment could, in practice, prompt a defendant to delay his or her guilty plea until 22 days after arraignment in circuit court to preclude a subsequent habitual offender notice. Other attorneys want to afford stronger protections to a defendant if a habitual offender notice is filed after a guilty plea. Prosecutors and defense attorneys alike wanted to ensure that a defendant was fully aware of any plea implications. Everyone recognizes the statutory authority for a prosecutor to file a habitual offender notice up to 21 days after a defendant’s arraignment in circuit court. However, instances where a defendant enters a guilty plea and is subsequently charged as a habitual offender seem to occur infrequently.
Justices Marilyn Kelly and Michael Cavanagh said that they would amend the rule to require the trial court judge to advise a defendant who pleads guilty that the defendant’s maximum sentence may be longer than the maximum possible prison sentence for the offense if the defendant is subject to the habitual offender statute (MCL 769.13).