Sex crimes are some of the most serious crimes in the Michigan legal system. If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime, you likely have a lot of questions and face a lot of uncertainty, such as what charge is rendered against you? What is the penalty? What acts are considered criminal sexual conduct in Michigan? It is important for you to stay calm, stay quiet, and contact an experienced criminal sexual conduct attorney to assist you.
In Michigan, Criminal Sexual Conduct or otherwise known as CSC, describes a range of sexual conduct that includes touching and penetration. There are four degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) in Michigan. Proving a CSC requires that the prosecution demonstrate that the touching was intended to obtain sexual gratification. Therefore, not all touching of intimate parts necessarily qualifies as CSC.
Degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct
4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is a high court misdemeanor but is treated much like a felony. It describes unwanted intimate touching for a sexual purpose. This charge often includes either the intimate touching of a minor between the ages of 13-15, touching of a person who the individual knows (or has reason to know) is mentally or physically disabled or touching from an authority figure (such as a teacher/student, guard/prisoner, doctor/patient, etc.).
The penalties for a fourth degree criminal sexual conduct conviction may include up to two years in prison, a $500 fine, and registry to the Michigan Sex Offender Registration. Individuals holding professional licenses may face licenses sanctions, suspensions, or even revocations.
3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is a felony and applies in cases where there was sexual penetration, and either force or coercion was used. This charge is also used in situations where the party falls under one of the protected groups (teacher/student, guard/prisoner, doctor/patient, etc.)
The penalties for a third degree criminal sexual conduct conviction are imprisonment for no more than 15 years, a court fine, and an individual must register on the Michigan Sex Offender Registration.
2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is similar to fourth-degree in that it describes touching, but does not include penetration. A second-degree charge applies when the other person is under 13 years of age or if the other person suffered an injury, if a weapon was used to force or coerce, or if another person abetted the act.
The penalties for a second degree criminal sexual conduct conviction are no more than 15 years in prison, potential lifetime electronic monitoring via a GPS tether device, a court fine, and registration on the Michigan Sex Offender Registration.
1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is the most serious charge and describes where sexual penetration is performed on a child under 13 years of age or when the child is 13-16, and the accused is in a position of authority over that individual. Additionally, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree describes cases of sexual penetration in conjunction with violence, injury, extorsion, the use of a weapon, or threats of violence.
The penalties for a first-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction are life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison, court fines, and registration on the sex offender registration. Specifically of importance to this conviction is that any sentence for this conviction is to be served consecutively, meaning the sentencing time for any other charge does not begin until the full sentence on this charge has been served. You may also be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring.
As it is clear by the penalties for these charges, these are extremely serious and can completely change your life. Anyone convicted of a CSC is required to register as a sex offender. That alone can make it extremely difficult to move forward and find work and housing, even after a completed prison sentence.
You need a criminal defense attorney that can negotiate an agreement to dismiss CSC charges in exchange for a plea to a lesser offense that does not require sex offender registration or take your case to trial. At Tanis Schultz PLLC we are here to vigorously defend your rights and your liberty.