Sex crimes in Michigan are categorized by degree as criminal sexual conduct. Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree (CSC 1) and criminal sexual conduct in the third degree (CSC 3) involve an allegation of criminal sexual penetration.
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CSC 1 is the most serious sex crime in Michigan. Most often individuals accused of this crime are alleged as having sexually penetrated a very young family member or during the commission of other felonies. This felony is a life offense. Depending on the specific circumstances in the case there may be a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years or even life without the possibility of parole.
CSC 3 involves both forcible penetration of an adult as well as what is often called statutory rape. Sometimes CSC 3 allegations center on penetration of an incapacitated victim who may have been asleep or intoxicated at the time of the sexual encounter. CSC 3 is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Criminal sexual conduct in the second degree (CSC 2) and criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree (CSC 4) are crimes where a person is accused of committing some kind of sexual contact against a victim. CSC 2, like CSC 1 occurs in scenarios where the victim is very young or related to the actor and also under circumstances where the actor is armed with a deadly weapon. CSC 4 has similar aggravating factors as CSC 3 and is punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment.
If you or a family member is being investigated for criminal sexual conduct in Michigan you need an attorney to help you deal with aggressive police interrogators and guide you through the process. You will not be able to “explain your way out of it” on your own! If you or your loved one has already been charged with a sex crime in Northern Michigan, call an attorney now. In addition to their very serious criminal consequences, all degrees of CSC require registration on Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry. Compliance with the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) is very onerous and difficult. Registry, along with long prison terms, are to be avoided at all costs.
What’s the Difference Between Rape and Sexual Assault Charges in Michigan?
In Michigan, rape is not charged as a separate crime. Instead, anyone accused of forcing another person to have sex against their will may be charged with First or Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, which are outlined below:
- Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct covers unlawful acts of sexual penetration, including those which fall within the common definition of rape. It is prosecuted as a felony.
- First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is a felony charge consisting of all acts covered by a third-degree charge, plus certain additional factors that make the charge more serious. They include causing injury, penetrating a victim under the age of 13, being in a position of authority over the victim, or being related to the victim by blood. This level of offense should never be faced without skilled representation from a sex crimes attorney.
Similarly, crimes charged elsewhere as sexual assault fall into the category of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan:
- Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct covers unlawful acts of sexual touching. You could face this charge if, for example, a coworker accuses you of touching her leg. It is charged as a misdemeanor in Michigan.
- Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is a felony that covers acts of sexual touching but with aggravating factors, such as sexual contact with anyone under the age of 13.
If you are accused of rape or sexual assault in Michigan, call a sexual assault attorney immediately. Sex crimes are regarded harshly by the public and the punishments can be equally severe, so it’s critical to get started on a compelling defense.
What are the Penalties for Criminal Sexual Misconduct in MI?
If you are convicted of criminal sexual misconduct in this state, the penalties depend on the degree of the original charge.
- First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is the most serious offense. The penalty includes a maximum sentence of life in prison and typically requires a mandatory minimum 25-year sentence. It may also include lifetime electronic monitoring and registration in SORA, the sex offender registry.
- Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct has a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. You would also be required to register as a sex offender.
- Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is also punishable by up to 15 years in prison and registration as a sex offender.
- Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is a high court misdemeanor, meaning that it can involve a two-year prison term instead of the one-year maximum usually awarded in misdemeanor convictions. Sex offender registration is required.
Having a sex offense on your criminal record can affect you for the rest of your life. A Traverse City sex offender lawyer at Mas/Stig-Nielsen, PLLC will use their vast experience in fighting felony and misdemeanor sex charges to present a strategic defense for you.
What if There is No DNA Evidence in a Sex Crime in Michigan?
Many people mistakenly assume that if there is no DNA evidence after an alleged sex crime, there’s no case against them. It’s not true. When a victim claims that you committed acts of unlawful sexual activity, you can be charged and even convicted.
In modern society, there is a tendency to believe the accuser in a criminal sexual conduct case- even if their claims are the only real evidence against you. The prosecutor can (and often will) move forward with charges, potentially sending you to prison for a crime you never committed. You can defend yourself against allegations of criminal sexual conduct with the assistance of a skilled and experienced sex crimes attorney in Michigan. If you are in the Traverse City area, you can Google ‘criminal defense attorney near me’ and locate our office.
Contact our Sexual Assault Defense Attorneys in Traverse City
Do not waste any time. If you are looking for sex crime attorneys who will fight for you no matter what the accusations are, Mas/Stig-Nielsen is the right choice for you. Working with psychology experts and with our own extensive knowledge of the law, court rules, and cross-examination techniques, we can help you as you battle for your liberty. Call us now at 231-714-4128.