CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

Michigan Sex Crimes FAQs

Representing Clients In Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne, Genesee County, and all over the State of Michigan.

What is First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?

First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is one of the worst charges a person could face. In Michigan, there are 4 degrees of criminal sexual conduct (CSC). First-Degree CSC is a life-altering accusation. A person must be alleged to have unlawfully sexually penetrated their victim in order to be charged with this crime. This crime alleges one of the following occurrences:

  • The victim was under 13 years of age.
  • The victim was over 13 years old but under 16 and the participant was a household member.
  • The victim was over 13 years old but under 16 and the participant was in a position of authority.
  • The participant committed the sexual penetration while in the commission of another felony.
  • The participant was armed with a dangerous weapon. 
  • The victim was injured during the forced/coerced penetration.
  • The victim is physically or mentally disabled and related by blood to the alleged participant.

What are the sentencing guidelines for CSC?

1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct carries stiff penalties. The possibility of Life in Prison without Parole (LWOP) is on the table. Here is a quick breakdown of the sentencing guideline for this charge if convicted:

  • As mentioned above 1st Degree CSC is punishable by up to life in prison.
  • Mandatory minimum of 25 if the victim was under 13 and the participant over 17.
  • LWOP if previously convicted of CSC of a victim under 13.
  • Lifetime monitoring and registration into the sex offender registry

2nd Degree CSC is also a felony with serious penalties but it does not include penetration. 15 years is the maximum sentence for 2nd Degree CSC. Lifetime electronic monitoring is mandatory if the victim was under 13 years old and registration into the sex offender registry is mandatory for at least 25 years. 

3rd Degree CSC is a felony and like first-degree CSC includes forced/coerced penetration. In this case, there was no weapon or a concurrent felony and the victim was not under 13 years of age. The maximum sentence is 15 years if the actor has not been convicted of any previous felonies or CSC charges. 

4th Degree CSC is the only misdemeanor charge in this list. Sometimes known as “indecent liberties.” If the accused accomplishes this form of CSM through engaging in sexual conduct with a person 13 to 16 years of age and the aggressor is 5 years older than the victim then it is considered 4th degree CSC. 

It can also include sexual conduct through force or coercion and if the person was under your authority or influence (student or mental health client). 

Punishments include the possible registration into the sex offender registry for life if the victim was under 13, if over 13 but under 18 then a 25-year registration is mandatory, and if the victim was over 18 then a 15-year sentence is mandatory. 

You could also face up to 2 years of prison and a fine of $500.

Should you take a plea in a CSC case?

The criminal trial process in Michigan is complicated to say the least. The steps are numerous and having an experienced and competent criminal defense lawyer by your side during this process is crucial. During a court hearing, generally there’s four in Michigan (Probable Cause Conference, Preliminary Examination, Arraignment of the Information, and the Pre-trial conference), your criminal defense attorney will have the opportunity to negotiate with the prosecution. 

There are a few possible options in terms of a plea deal when it comes to CSC. 

If the actor is under the age of 26 they might be able to qualify for HYTA. HYTA stands for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. Successfully completing HYTA, if granted, means that a person will not have to register for the Sex Offender Registry. But, HYTA does not apply to all CSC charges, only 3rd and 4th degree CSC. 

There’s also what’s known as a Cobb Agreement. In Michigan, a defense can ask the presiding judge for an opinion as to what the sentence might be if the defendant pleads guilty. The judge does not necessarily have to follow their own statement but the defense has the ability to drop their guilty plea and go to trial if the judge does not follow their evaluation.

Is Sex Offender Registration Mandatory?

All CSC charges, if convicted, have the possibility of mandatory sex offender registration. This means anyone can look up your name and see your offender registration status. Depending on your level of offense you must either report your status 4 times a year or 2 times a year. You will also have to report anytime that you change your name, creating an email or social media account, get a new car or sell a car, register at a university, change residency or jobs.

Need Help Fighting Charges?

Ashlee Duplessis is here to fight for you. Everyone deserves quality criminal defense and legal counsel, we’re here to make sure your side of the story is told. Call our offices today at 248-372-1527 or contact us today through our form here.