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Sex Crimes in Michigan

Understanding Charges for Criminal Sexual Conduct

Criminal sexual conduct (CSC) is a comprehensive term that refers to a group of sex crimes. Criminal sexual conduct, sexual assault, child molestation and child sexual abuse, child pornography, statutory rape, forcible rape, and internet solicitation of a minor are all classified as criminal sexual conduct in the state of Michigan. If convicted of a sex offense, the extreme penalties that can result – from lengthy prison sentences to fines – may also be accompanied by 25 years or lifetime registration on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR).

The seriousness of criminal sexual conduct charges are tremendous. The mere accusation of sexual misconduct can damage one’s personal and professional life, impacting their reputation in their community and ability to secure everything from employment to housing. A charge of sexual misconduct, true or false, will alter your future.

Degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan

There are four degrees of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan. A conviction can lead to the following punishments:

1st degree felony: Life in prison

2nd degree felony: Up to 15 years in jail and lifetime monitoring

3rd degree felony: Up to 15 years in prison

4th degree misdemeanor: Up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $500

1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Criminal sexual conduct in the 1st degree is the most serious sex crimes charge in the state of Michigan. You can expect harsh criminal punishment for this felony, which includes sex with a minor, if convicted.

1st degree criminal sexual conduct is classified by the Michigan Penal Code as when sexual penetration of the alleged victim occurs along with one or more of the following parameters:

  • The alleged victim is under 13 years of age.
  • The alleged victim is between 13 and 16 years old and the charged is a member of the same household, a relative, a teacher or other school district employee, or an authority figure.
  • The charged is assisted by one or more people, uses coercion or force, or knows the alleged victim is physically or mentally incapable.
  • The charged caused personal injury knowing that the alleged victim is physically or mentally incapable.
  • The alleged victim is physically helpless or mentally disabled and the charged is a relative or authority figure who acted coercively.
  • Criminal sexual conduct occurred as well as another felony charge.

A 1st degree criminal sexual conduct conviction could result in life imprisonment and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.

2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

The Michigan Penal Code identifies 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct as a charge where sexual contact, but not penetration, occurs along with one of the conditions that are also necessary for a 1st degree conviction. These include:

  • The alleged victim is under 13 years of age.
  • The alleged victim is between 13 and 16 years old and the charged is a member of the same household, a relative, a teacher or other school district employee, or an authority figure.
  • The charged is assisted by one or more people, uses coercion or force, or knows the alleged victim is physically or mentally incapable.
  • The charged caused personal injury knowing that the alleged victim is physically or mentally incapable.
  • The alleged victim is physically helpless or mentally disabled and the charged is a relative or authority figure who acted coercively.
  • Criminal sexual conduct occurred as well as another felony charge.

This is not an exhaustive list of conditions. If you are accused of or investigated for criminal sexual conduct it is crucial that you contact a criminal defense attorney who specializes in sex crimes.

A 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct conviction could result in up to 15 years in prison and lifetime GPS tether monitoring.

3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

3rd degree criminal sexual conduct is classified by the Michigan Penal Code as when sexual penetration of the alleged victim occurs – often referred to as statutory rape – along with at least one of the following conditions:

  • The alleged victim is between 13 and 16 years old.
  • The charged uses force or coercion.
  • The charged is a relative of the alleged victim.
  • The alleged victim is between 16 and 18 years old and the charged is a teacher or school employee where the alleged victim is enrolled.
  • The charged is aware that the alleged victim is physically helpless or mentally incapable.
  • The alleged victim is between 16 and 16 years of age and receives special education services which the charged uses, as a teacher or volunteer, to establish a relationship with the alleged victim.

Conviction for the charge of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct is up to 15 years in prison and sex offender registration.

4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

While 4th degree criminal sexual conduct is the least of all sex crimes charges, it is still a serious crime and a conviction can result in life-changing consequences, particularly if a minor child is involved. If a person is found guilty of sexual contact (not penetration) with the alleged victim, one of the following conditions must also apply:

  • Alleged victim is between 13 and 16 years old and the charged is at least five years older.
  • The alleged victim is between 16 and 18 years old and is a student in the school or district where the charged is a teacher or other school employee.
  • The charged uses force or coercion to accomplish sexual conduct.
  • The charged is aware that the alleged victim is physically helpless or mentally incapable.
  • The charged is a mental health professional who makes sexual contact with someone who has been a patient within the two years preceding the sexual contact.
  • The alleged victim is between 16 and 26 years old and is receiving special education services from the charged who is a teacher or employee of the district providing these services.
  • The charged is a relative of the alleged victim (and they are not legally married).

A conviction for 4th degree criminal sexual conduct can result in up to two years in prison, fines, and sex offender registration.

Sex Offender Register ACT – SORA

The general public can access the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR) online to see information about individuals who have been convicted of crimes of a sexual nature. Not only is this registry used by law enforcement officials and attorneys, it is a resource for schools, employers, and private individuals who want to learn more about a person or identify any sex offenders living in their neighborhood.

People who are charged with criminal sexual conduct will want to pursue every available option to avoid being forced to register on the PSOR, a listing that can impact your ability to get or keep a job, qualify for loans or government programs, have the freedom to live wherever you would like, or attend certain schools or institutions. The options are limited, which is why it is critical for those accused of a sex crime to obtain solid legal help. It is mandatory that every person convicted of any degree of criminal sexual conduct register on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry for at least 25 years. The nature of the offense will determine whether the individual has to register for life.

The Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) requires that convicted sex offenders’ names, current address, list of offenses, and other identifying information like employment, physical characteristics (e.g., tattoos, scars, height, weight, eye color, etc.), and vehicle ownership be published on the PSOR.

Individuals can search the PSOR for a sex offender by name, or a broader search can be conducted by city or street address. The PSOR notes if a registrant is a lifetime sex offender or non-compliant, meaning they have failed to verify their information at predetermined intervals every year, in-person with local law enforcement as required by law. Non-compliant individuals could face additional criminal charges and jail time.

Tiers of Sex Offenders

In the state of Michigan, sex offenders are separated into three tiers. The tier in which a convicted sex offender is place will impact how often (quarterly, semi-annually, annually) they are required to report to local law enforcement to update their personal information for the sex offender registry:

  • First-Tier Sex Offenders: This tier can include sex offenders who have been convicted of indecent exposure or a lesser sex crime, and they are not required to be listed on the public sex offender registry.
  • Second-Tier Sex Offenders: This tier can include sex offenders convicted of date rape and child pornography, and their names will appear publicly on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry for 25 years.
  • Third-Tier Offenders: This tier includes convicted sex offenders who are considered the most predatory individuals. Their names will appear on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry for life.

False Allegations of Criminal Sexual Conduct

While criminal sexual conduct is a sad reality, there are also many people who are falsely accused and wrongfully charged with criminal sexual conduct. Michigan law only requires that an allegation be made in order for a criminal sexual conduct charge to stick. Physical evidence of assault or other supporting evidence is not always necessary for a conviction.

Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is your best recourse against false accusations of sexual misconduct. The right attorney will seek to discover the motivation behind an accuser’s finger-pointing and employ the strongest defense tactics to save the innocent from a stained future.

If you believe your rights were violated during any stage of your criminal sexual conduct case in Michigan, you need an objective criminal defense attorney to thoroughly research your case and knowledgeably fight back against aggressive prosecutors and law enforcement officers to have your charges dropped, dismissed, reduced, or beaten. An experienced legal defense team can work to help you avoid unnecessary jail time as well as fines and sex offender registration.

What Can a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Do for Me?

Various factors will affect the outcome of your criminal sexual conduct case, from the type of sex offense with which you are charged to the age of the alleged victim to whether or not you have a prior criminal record. The state of Michigan takes allegations of sex crimes very seriously and aggressively pursues adequate punishment for those charged with these offenses.

Ultimately, the goal is to protect your legal rights and minimize the negative impact that a sex crime charge could have on your future. It’s critical that you consult a Michigan criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that you understand the seriousness of the charges, the penalties you face, and the legal help you need.

Michigan Courts Located in the Metro Detroit Area that we visit regularly:

  • Macomb County Courts

    • Armada
    • Armada Township
    • Bruce Township
    • Centerline
    • Chesterfield Township
    • Clinton Township
    • Eastpointe
    • Fraser
    • Harrison Township
    • Lenox Township
    • Macomb Township
    • Mt. Clemens
    • New Baltimore
    • Romeo
    • Roseville
    • St. Clair Shores
    • Sterling Heights
    • Shelby Township.
    • Utica
    • Warren
    • Washington Township
  • Oakland County Courts

    • Auburn Hills
    • Berkley
    • Beverly Hills
    • Bingham Farms
    • Birmingham
    • Bloomfield
    • Bloomfield Hills
    • Farmington
    • Farmington Hills
    • Ferndale
    • Franklin
    • Hazel Park
    • Huntington Woods
    • Lake Angelus
    • Lake Orion
    • Lathrup Village
    • Madison Heights
    • Oak Park
    • Orchard Lake
    • Rochester
    • Rochester Hills
    • Royal Oak
    • Royal Oak Twp.
    • Southfield
    • West Bloomfield

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