Typically, in Michigan criminal trials, the prosecution is not permitted to introduce evidence that the defendant previously engaged in wrongful behavior that is similar to the criminal offense they are accused of committing. There are some exceptions, though, as demonstrated in a recent Michigan matter in which the defendant challenged his conviction for sexual assault after the prosecution introduced evidence of a prior similar incident. If you are charged with assault or any other crime, it is prudent to meet with a knowledgeable Michigan criminal defense attorney to determine what evidence the state may introduce against you.
The History of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant was charged with sexual assault. During the trial, the victim testified that she was unconscious and woke up to the defendant strangling her and having sex with her. Additionally, another woman testified that on a previous occasion, she slept on the defendant’s couch and woke up to the defendant strangling her and having sex with her. The jury found the defendant guilty as charged. He appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in permitting the prosecution to admit prior bad acts evidence.
The Introduction of Prior Bad Acts Evidence
The appellate court affirmed the defendant’s conviction. The court explained that, except for cases involving an abuse of discretion, an appellate court would not disturb a trial court’s decision to admit the evidence. A trial court commits an abuse of discretion if it allows evidence that is inadmissible as a matter of law. Continue Reading ›