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Grand Rapids Statutory Rape Lawyer
In terms of conclusively establishing that a rape has occurred, an examination of the issue of consent is always an inevitable and fundamental step. If an alleged victim did not consent to sexual activity, a conviction on a charge of rape is a distinct possibility. However, when an individual meeting the legal definition of a minor is a party to sexual intercourse, even if their consent was in fact granted, a charge of statutory rape can be issued against the other party.
The legislature in Michigan has determined that individuals who have yet to meet a statutorily designated age threshold are simply unable to provide informed consent to sexual activity. As a result, allegations of this nature can come as a real surprise and shock to defendants who also have not yet reached the age of majority and who have heretofore remained on the right side of the law.
There can be no doubt that the impact of a statutory rape conviction on anyone’s life is likely to be profoundly harmful and potentially permanent. The societal stigma, employment difficulties, destruction of educational opportunities and other effects can destroy lives, often before they have had a real chance to begin.
If you are facing a charge of this type, a Grand Rapids statutory rape lawyer is ready to begin diligently working on your defense. Contact an experienced sex crimes attorney right away to best protect your rights.Michigan Statutory Rape Laws
The law in Michigan provides that 16 is the age of consent and that anyone engaging in sexual acts with those who are underage are at risk of being convicted of statutory rape/Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC). This is true even if the pursuer or eventual defendant is also a minor.
MCL 750.520b provides that an individual has committed CSC in the first degree if they engage in conduct with another who is under 13 years old or is between the ages of 13 and 16 and there is also a familial or other authority-type relationship at play, such as that of teacher and student.
It is possible for individuals to be convicted of lesser degrees of CSC if they are found guilty of engaging in sexual acts that fall short of penetration with children who are not 16 years of age, but are over the age of 13 if the defendant is no less than five years older, or with children aged 16 or 17, provided the defendant is a school employee.Ramifications of a Statutory Rape Conviction
The official penalties for conviction on a charge of statutory rape in Grand Rapids are, not surprisingly, quite onerous. Depending on the degree of CSC involved, incarceration can be anywhere from relatively brief in nature, all the way up to lifetime imprisonment.
Many of those who are eventually able to achieve release from prison may subsequently find themselves subject to mandatory inclusion on the sex offender registry.
The true implications of sex offender status are difficult to overstate, as inclusion on the registry brings with it devastating damage to personal reputation, potential job loss, inability to live in certain areas and ongoing reporting obligations which, if not followed, can result in new charges and additional incarceration. As such, anyone confronted with the frightening specter of a statutory rape charge in Michigan needs to promptly secure the help of a seasoned Grand Rapids statutory rape attorney.Working with a Grand Rapids Statutory Rape Attorney
Despite the feelings of panic and confusion a statutory rape charge will almost always cause, it is critical for defendants to remember that they are entitled to mount a zealous legal defense.
If you have been accused of an offense in this category, an experienced Grand Rapids statutory rape lawyer can enter the fray, examine the facts and formulate a strategy designed to ameliorate the harm you might otherwise face.