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Prosecution Fails to Timely Notify Defendant of Habitual Offender Charge

People v Muhammad, COA No. 317054


The habitual offender notice; The prosecution’s failure to timely notify the defendant of its intent to enhance his sentencing; In re Forfeiture of Bail Bond; MCL 769.13(1)


On remand from the Michigan Supreme Court, the court affirmed the trial court’s decision dismissing his habitual offender notice when the prosecution did not timely notify defendant of its intent to enhance his sentencing. Initially, the court reversed the trial court’s decision. In 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court vacated the court’s decision and remanded for the court to “determine whether the trial court erred by concluding that the proper remedy for the prosecutor’s statutory violation was dismissal of the habitual offender notice[.]” The prosecution “may enhance a defendant’s sentence by filing a written notice of intent within 21 days after the defendant’s arraignment or, if the defendant waives arraignment, within 21 days after filing the information that charges the defendant of the underlying offense.” The notice “shall be filed with the court and served upon the defendant or his or her attorney within the time provided in [MCL 769.13(1)].” The prosecution conceded that it failed to serve the notice to defendant within the 21-day time mandated in MCL 769.13(1), but it contended that this error was harmless. “However, as with the bail bond forfeiture statute, the habitual offender statute provides that the prosecution shallserve notice on the defendant within a specific time period.” The court held that the “prosecution’s failure to serve notice under MCL 769.13 in a timely manner prohibits it from proceeding as if it had timely filed the notice and that the trial court properly determined that the appropriate remedy for this violation was dismissing the habitual offender notice.”


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