Guidelines - Departure Below Reversed

Criminal Law Update

People v Raymond Young,276 Mich.App. 446, 740 N.W.2d 347(2007)(august'07).The trial court departed below guidelines in this armed robbery case and the prosecutor appealed. Guidelines were 21-35 months, and the recommended sentence was 21-60 months. Defendant was sentenced to 9 months in jail based on 1) the size of the knife used in the robbery; 2) lack of criminal history; 3) continuous work record; 4) defendant's youth; 5)defendant's cooperation with police.The court of appeals determined that use of the knife did not affect defendant's OV level, as scored, and thus could not qualify as a departure reason on this record.Defendant's lack of a prior record was taken into account in providing a PRV score of 0 and was thus not a proper departure reason.While defendant's employment history could be used to depart, here it was not "particularly lengthy or noteworthy." Defendant's age (22) does not "keenly or irresistibly grab one's attention" and fails as a departure rationale.Defendant's cooperation with defense counsel and respect for the court could not justify departure as this factor was not objective and verifiable. Remanded for resentencing, presumably to prison.