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A Better Partnership
February 07, 2013

COA Opinion: Ohio convictions for second-degree burglary are high severity felonies for purpose of calculating a sentence

In People of the State of Michigan v. Crews, the Michigan Court of Appeals concluded that out-of-state felony convictions need only be 'similar or analogous' to a Michigan criminal offense to 'correspond' to that offense for the purpose of calculating a sentence. In Crews, the Defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree home invasion, and was sentenced to 71-180 months. On appeal, the Defendant argued that the trial court erred in calculating the effect of his prior criminal record. The Defendant had two convictions in Ohio for second-degree burglary. The trial court concluded that those were high severity felonies. The Defendant argued that these convictions, which are punishable by a maximum of only eight years, should be scored as low severity felonies. The Michigan Court of Appeals held that Ohio's second-degree burglary was sufficiently 'similar or analogous' to Michigan's second-degree home invasion that it 'corresponds' to that crime within the meaning of MCL 777.51(2)(b), and is thus a high severity felony. The Court elaborated that the meaning of 'correspond' does not require statutes to mirror each other under all circumstances, but only that they have 'qualities in common.'

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