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Crime Victim Rights Fund/Criminal Assessment Instruction

Crime Victim Services Commission
Department of Community Health

AUTHORITY: MCL 780.901 et seq., MCL 18.353 et seq.

This instruction is intended to explain those activities required and monitored by the Department of Community Health, Crime Victim Services Commission with reference to collection of criminal assessments.

Background

The Crime Victims Rights Act was passed in 1985 (PA 87). It provides rights of notification and participation in the criminal justice process to victims of felony crime. Service duties fall largely upon the prosecuting attorney. The Act was expanded in 1988 to include rights for victims of serious misdemeanors and juvenile offenses. State general funding to help cover local costs of providing crime victims' rights began in 1986. The Constitutional amendment for Crime Victims' Rights was approved in 1988 (Art. 1, Sec. 24). It provided for criminal assessments against convicted defendants to pay for crime victims' rights and gave constitutional authority to the rights provided by law to crime victims. The Criminal Assessments Act (PA 196) was passed in 1989. That Act established the Crime Victim Rights Fund in the Department of Treasury and designated the Department of Community Health to administer the fund. The fund's purpose is to support local services required to implement crime victims' rights. Conforming amendments of statutes affecting the operation of courts, prosecutors, local units of government and state agencies have also been enacted.

Convictions and Assessment Orders

Each person convicted of an assessable offense shall be ordered to pay one criminal assessment per case as described below (MCL 780.905).

Felony - All felony assessments shall be $60.00 (MCL 780.905). For purposes of imposing criminal assessments, a felony is defined as a violation of a penal law of this state for which the offender, upon conviction, may be punished by imprisonment for more than 1 year or an offense expressly designated by law to be a felony (MCL 780.901d).

Serious and Specified Misdemeanors - All serious and specified misdemeanor assessments shall be $50.00 (MCL 780.905). The assessment for violations charged as a felony or serious misdemeanor but subsequently reduced to or pled to, as any misdemeanor shall be $50.00. The assessment for violation of a local ordinance substantially corresponding to a serious or specified misdemeanor shall be $50.00.

Juvenile Offenses - All juvenile offense assessments shall be $20. Juvenile offenses include, any disposition in which a juvenile has committed an act that, if committed by an adult would be a felony, serious misdemeanor or a specified misdemeanor (MCL 780.901).

Serious Misdemeanor Offenses (MCL 780.811) include - assault and battery (MCL 750.81), infliction of serious injury (MCL 750.81a), breaking and entering or illegal entry (MCL 750.115), child abuse in the fourth degree (MCL 750.136b), enticing a child for immoral purposes (MCL 750.145a) discharge of a firearm intentionally aimed at a person (MCL 750.234), discharge of an intentionally aimed firearm resulting in injury (MCL 750.235), indecent exposure (MCL 750.335a), leaving the scene of a personal injury accident (MCL 257.617a), operating a vehicle while under the influence of or impaired by intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance, or with an unlawful blood alcohol content, if the violation involves an accident resulting in damage to another individual's property or physical injury or death to another individual (MCL 257.625), selling or furnishing alcoholic liquor to an individual less than 21 years of age in violation of section 33 of the Michigan Liquor Control Act, Public Act 8, if the violation results in physical injury or death to any individual (MCL 436.33).

A violation of section 617a, of the Michigan Vehicle Code, Public Act 300 of 1949, being section (MCL 257.617a) of the Michigan Compiled Laws or a violation of Public Act 33 of 1949, being section (MCL 257.625) of the Michigan Compiled Laws, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

A violation of Public Act 328 of 1931, being section (MCL 750.411h) of the Michigan Compiled Laws, stalking.

A violation of Public Act 451 of 1994, being section (MCL 324.80176), operating a vessel while under the influence of or impaired by intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance, or with an unlawful blood alcohol content, if the violation involves an accident resulting in damage to another individual's property or physical injury or death to any individual.

A violation of a local ordinance substantially corresponding to a violation enumerated as a serious misdemeanor (MCL 780.811).

A violation charged as a crime (felony) or a serious misdemeanor but subsequently reduced to or pled to as a misdemeanor (MCL 780.811).

Specified Misdemeanor Offenses (MCL 780.901) - a violation of any of the following: Failure to comply with an order to stop at the direction of a police officer (MCL 257.602a); drunk driving (MCL 257.625(1), (MCL 257.625(3); reckless driving (MCL 257.626); Operator's or chauffeur's license or registration; suspended or revoked (MCL 257.904); prohibited snowmobile operations (MCL 324.82127(1) & (MCL 324.82127(3); operation of off-road vehicle while visibly impaired due to intoxicating liquor or controlled substance (MCL 324.81134(1), (MCL 324.81134(2); Operation of off-road vehicle while visibly impaired due to intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance (MCL 324.81135); operation of vessel while under the influence of or impaired by liquor, controlled substance or with unlawful blood alcohol content (MCL 324.80176); operation of aircraft while under the influence of liquor or controlled substance (MCL 259.185); unlawful manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; unlawful dispensing, prescription form (MCL 333.7401-7461); androgenic anabolic steroids and counterfeit androgenic anabolic steroid violations (MCL 333.17766a); sale of alcohol to minors (MCL 436.33); operation of a locomotive engine while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance (MCL 462.353); operation of a locomotive engine while visibly impaired (MCL 462.355); embezzlement (MCL 750.174); false pretenses with intent to defraud (MCL 750.218); larceny (MCL 750.356); retail fraud in second degree (MCL 750.356d); larceny from vacant dwelling (MCL 750.359); larceny by conversion (MCL 750.362); larceny; rented motor vehicle, trailer or other tangible property (MCL 750.362a); willful and malicious destruction of property (MCL 750.377a); willful and malicious destruction of property; house, barn or building of another (MCL 750.380); failure to obey police or conservation officers directions to stop vehicle (MCL 750.479a); buying, receiving or possessing or concealing stolen embezzled or converted money, goods or property (MCL 750.535); malicious use of service provided by communications common carrier (MCL 750.540a); a local ordinance substantially corresponding to a law listed above, (MCL 780.901(1)(h)(x).

Statutory Conditions and Requirements

The following represents certain conditions where payment of the victim assessment is required. Assessments collected in these instances are meant to reinforce the serious expectation that payment will be made.

Payment of the assessment is a statutory condition of probation. (MCL 771.3)

Payment of the assessment is a statutory condition of parole. (MCL) 791.236)

Payment of the assessment is required in the disposition of juvenile offenders. (MCL 712A.18)

Payment of the assessment and other orders of payment shall be taken from cash deposits on bail bonds made by the defendant. (MCL 765.15, MCL 780.66-67)

Collections and Transmittals

A priority is established for the allocation of monies collected from a defendant by the court. Payments are first equally divided into "victim payments" and "all other payments" ordered. (MCL 712A.29, 712A.18e, 775.22)

Victim Payments include: Restitution ordered to be paid to the victim or victim's estate or a criminal assessment ordered paid to the State under MCL 780.905.   All other payments ordered (and the priority of allocations established) are: 1. costs, 2. fines, 3. probation or parole supervision fees, 4. any other assessments and payments. In ALL cases, fifty (50) percent of all money collected from a person subject to a criminal assessment under MCL 780.905 shall be applied to payment of the criminal assessment and victim restitution until all orders for victim payments have been paid. Likewise, fifty (50) percent of all money collected from a person subject to orders for costs, fines and other payments shall be applied to payment of the costs, fines, and other payments. If orders for payment of costs, fines and other payments are met before all victim payments are made, any additional monies collected shall be applied to victim payments. If orders for all victim payments are met before all other payments are made, any additional monies collected shall be applied to costs, fines and other payments.

On the last day of each month the court shall transmit ninety (90) percent of the victim payments identified as criminal assessments ordered under MCL 780.905 to the Department of Treasury, Acct. #228.37, with the approved transmittal advice form. Do not transmit any funds to the Department of Community Health.

Reporting

On the last day of the month, submit a fully completed Crime Victim Rights Assessment Report (CVR-606) to the Department of Community Health, Crime Victim Services Commission. This form is to be used to report monthly to DCH. Mail the CVR-606 report to: Crime Victim Services Commission, Crime Victim Rights Assessments, Department of Community Health, 320 South Walnut, Lansing, Michigan 48913

Unclaimed Restitution

Courts have inquired about procedures to follow for unclaimed restitution. Pending further legislative guidance, the Crime Victim Services Commission recommends that the following procedure be utilized for dealing with unclaimed restitution:

1. Unclaimed restitution may be deposited in the regular monthly assessment batch transmitted to the Department of Treasury and included in totals in the report to the commission.

2. In the event that an eligible recipient of a restitution payment comes forward or is discovered after unclaimed restitution has been transmitted to Treasury, payment to that recipient in an amount not exceeding the previous unclaimed restitution may be deducted from the current month crime victim assessment revenue and paid to the recipient.

Questions on Criminal Assessments and the Crime Victims' Rights Fund

Questions regarding this Program Instruction or other issues concerning provision of services to crime victims in Michigan may be addressed to Beth Adcock at (517) 334-9943, or via the internet adcockb@michigan.gov.