Allowing Prosecutors to Amend Information With a New Charge

In People v. Hunt, 442 Mich 359, 364; 501 NW2d 151 (1993), the Supreme Court of Michigan held that a trial court may allow the prosecutor to amend the information with a new charge if the amendment will not cause "unacceptable prejudice to the defendant because of unfair surprise, inadequate notice, or insufficient opportunity to defend." Id. at 364.

In that case, the magistrate refused to allow the prosecutor to amend the information to add a new charge at the end of the preliminary examination.

Both the circuit court and this Court affirmed that decision. Id. at 361.

On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of this Court, determining that the amendment did not cause unacceptable prejudice to the defendant because the preliminary examination testimony supported the new charge, there was no indication that defense counsel's actions at the preliminary examination would have been any different had he known of the new charge, and the prosecutor offered to allow additional questioning of witnesses. Id. at 364-365.

Therefore, the Hunt Court determined that the prosecutor should have been allowed to amend the information with the new offense. Id. at 363-365.