Has someone accused you of sexually assaulting them?
Need help defining the different degrees of criminal sexual conduct?
Criminal sexual conduct is unlike other crimes because all too often the media offers a guilty verdict even before trial. A person faces their reputation being tarnished by simply being accused of this type of crime.
Today, I wanted to take some time to put together a complete article about what you need to know when it comes to criminal sexual conduct, especially if you have been charged with it.
A Battle Before You
The first thing to know is that when someone is charged with criminal sexual conduct or assaulting another person it is going an uphill battle. Even those who are obviously are innocent have a heavy battle to fight.
Last year a Grand Rapids Fire Fighter was charged with raping an ex-girlfriend. This was a man who had volunteered during Hurricane Katrina and served as a fire fighter for 21 years. The entire community was shocked by the allegations.
False accusations, falsified social media responses, and a friend from 30 years ago all lead to rape allegations.
Thankfully, it was proved that this fire fighter was innocent and the evidence had been falsified.
Defining Michigan’s Four Degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct
Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree
The first degree has the harshest potential punishment if convicted. If someone is convicted of criminal sexual conduct first degree they face up to a lifetime in prison, potentially a lifetime in prison without parole, and/or a lifetime of electronic monitoring.
The degree of the sentence will depend on the ages of the actor as well as the victim.When being charged with 1st degree criminal sexual conduct, that means that the actor is being accused of sexual penetration with another person and any of the following,
- The victim is 13 years or younger.
- The victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 as well as
- The actor is in the same household as the injured party.
- The actor is related by blood or affinity to the injured party.
- The actor is in a position of authority over the injured party.
- When the accusation of sexual penetration occurs with another felony.
- The actor has been aided by another person and,
- The actor knows that the victim is incapable-mentally, physically or incapacitated.
- The actor applied force or coercion.
- When weapons are involved.
- When the actor uses force or coercion on the victim resulting in a personal injury like but not limited to, disease, mental anguish or pregnancy.
- The actor cause personal injury while knowing the victim is incapacitated.
- While the victim is incapacitated and
- The actor is blood related.
- The actor is in a position of authority over the victim.
Criminal Sexual Conduct Second Degree
The second degree is punishable by 15 years in prison and the potential of a lifetime of electronic monitoring and is a felony. When charged with second degree criminal sexual conduct that means there has been sexual contact with another person and any of the above circumstance listed in the first degree.
Criminal Sexual Conduct Third Degree
The third degree is punishable by 15 years of prison and is a felony.When charged with third degree criminal sexual conduct that means there has been sexual penetration and the,
- Victim is 13, 14, or 15 years old.
- Actor has used force or coercion.
- Victim is incapacitated.
Criminal Sexual Conduct Fourth Degree
The forth degree is punishable by up to 2 years in prison or a fine of $500.00 and is a misdemeanor.When charged with fourth degree criminal sexual conduct that means there has been sexual contact and,
- The assailant used force or coercion.
- The victim was incapacitated.
- While the victim was incarcerated the assailant is employed by the Department of Corrections.
When facing the charge of any degree of criminal sexual conduct, more than your reputation is on the line. If you have any questions that need answering, please call my office. These are serious charges. You do not have to face these them alone.
Source: The Michigan Penal Code (EXCERPT) Act 328 of 1931 Chapter LXXVI RAPE