In Michigan, many crimes are similar in nature and contain similar elements but vary in degrees. As such, if the prosecution cannot establish a defendant’s guilt for the charged offense, it may be able to obtain a conviction for a lesser included offense, which is a less serious crime that necessarily happens during the commission of the more serious offense. Further, in some instances, the defendant will ask the court to instruct the jury on lesser included offenses to prevent them from being convicted for more severe crimes. There is no constitutional right to such instructions, however, as discussed in a recent opinion issued in a Michigan robbery case. If you are charged with robbery or any other theft crime, it is in your best interest to speak to a Michigan criminal defense attorney to determine what measures you can take to protect your interests.
The Alleged Robbery
It is reported that the defendant and two other men entered a gas station convenience store, and began to take things without paying. When the store clerk confronted them, the defendant approached him and began threatening him and waiving a gun at him. The clerk called the police, but the defendant and the other men left before they arrived. They were apprehended shortly thereafter and taken into custody. The defendant was charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and armed robbery and was convicted by a jury. He then filed a pro se petition for habeas corpus, challenging his convictions.