Skip to main content
A Better Partnership
December 26, 2014

MSC grants mini-oral argument to consider whether failure to inform defendant of mandatory life without parole sentence constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel

In People v. Trowbridge, the Michigan Supreme Court has granted mini-oral argument to consider granting leave to appeal where counsel failed to inform the defendant that, upon conviction, the defendant faced mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole. Defendant appealed arguing that the counsel’s failure to inform him of the sentence constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. The defendant was convicted of three counts of criminal sexual conduct stemming from the sexual abuse of his six-year-old daughter. Because the defendant had a previous conviction for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from the sexual abuse of a four-year-old boy, he faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. Neither the parties nor the trial court realized that the mandatory sentence applied until after trial, and the defendant rejected multiple plea offers.
 
The Court of Appeals held that the failure to inform the defendant that the mandatory life sentence applied did not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel. The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court’s factual finding that the defendant would not have likely accepted the prosecution’s second plea office if he had been property advised of the mandatory sentence.

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.

ACCEPTCANCEL

Text

+ -

Reset