Definition of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan
Sex crimes in Michigan consist of four degrees of criminal sexual conduct (CSC). Each carries varying levels of severity and potential penalties. The four degrees of CSC are outlined in Michigan’s Penal Code and cover a range of sexual acts, including penetration, touching, and verbal communication. This article will explain the difference between sexual assault and rape.
Here is an overview of the four degrees of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan:
First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 1)
First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of the four degrees and involves sexual penetration with force or coercion, or with a victim who is under 13 years of age. This crime is punishable by up to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
If you are in a position of authority, such as a teacher or substitute teacher, and the police can establish this relationship, then the Michigan criminal code provides for enhanced punishments. This will make it even more important to hire a lawyer experienced in Michigan sex crimes.
In order for a prosecutor to prove first-degree criminal sexual conduct, they must show that the defendant engaged in sexual penetration with another person (either with a body part or an object), that the sexual penetration was accomplished through the use of force or coercion, or that the victim was under the age of 13 at the time of the sexual conduct.
Second-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 2)
Second-degree criminal sexual conduct is a less severe offense than first-degree CSC and involves sexual contact with force or coercion, or with a victim who is under 13 years of age. This crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
To prove second-degree criminal sexual conduct, the prosecutor must show that the defendant engaged in sexual contact with another person (such as touching) and that the sexual contact was acco
mplished through the use of force or coercion, or that the victim was under the age of 13 at the time of the sexual conduct.
Third-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 3)
Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is a further less severe offense than second-degree CSC and involves sexual penetration or contact without force or coercion, but with a victim who is under 16 years of age, or with a victim who is incapable of consent due to a mental or physical disability. This crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
In order for a prosecutor to prove third-degree criminal sexual conduct, they must show that the defendant engaged in sexual penetration or contact with another person, and that the victim was either under the age of 16 at the time of the sexual conduct or was unable to give consent due to a mental or physical disability.
Fourth-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 4)
While still a very serious crime, Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct the lowest level of the four degrees of CSC. This crime involves sexual touching without penetration. The touching must also not include
any force or coercion. Also, the accuser must not be under 16 years of age, or incapable of consent due to a mental or physical disability. This crime is punishable by up to two years in prison.
In order to demonstrate fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the accused partook in sexual contact with another person (such as contact with the buttocks, breasts, or genitals), and that the victim was either underage or was deprived of the capacity to give approval as a result of a physical or mental handicap.
It’s important to note that these charges are very serious and can carry significant penalties, including imprisonment and registration as a sex offender. In addition, a CSC conviction can have long-lasting consequences, including difficulty finding employment, housing, or educational opportunities.
When Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Michigan sex crimes carry high penalties and will result in a permanent criminal record. They also often result in SORA registration.
If you are under investigation for a sex crime in Michigan but have not yet been charged, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. While you may not have been charged yet, the investigation itself can have serious consequences and could potentially lead to charges being filed against you.
If you are facing criminal sexual conduct charges in Michigan, it is essential to seek the advice and representation of an experienced sex crime lawyer who can help protect your rights and advocate on your behalf.