Rape Charges in Michigan – What You Need to Know

State of Michigan Rape Charges

Rape charges and allegations happen often in Michigan. It can be confusing and scary if you have found yourself being charged with some type of sexual assault charge. For many states, including Michigan, gaining an understanding of the specific teams can help bring clarity to the situation.

The term “rape,” “sexual assault,” and “sexual battery” all fall under the Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC). The State of Michigan breaks it down into four degrees of CSC. They range from sexual contact, levels of force and include intimidation. Depending on the specific details of your case, would determine what degree you will be charged with.

Understanding the language is one key step to help you build a defense and help you communicate clearly what happened. Let’s take a look at a few more definitions of key words that are used in cases involving rape charges. These definitions are found in the Michigan Penal Code Section 750.520.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, intimidation, or coercion.


Penetration includes vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse or putting a finger or other object into another person’s anal or genital opening, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body. Emission of semen in not required.

Sexual Contact

Intentional touching of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts or the clothing covering those intimate parts for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, done for a sexual purpose or in a sexual manner, or done in a sexual manner for revenge or to inflict humiliation or out of anger.

Actor: Means a person is accused of criminal sexual conduct.

Degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct

There are four different degrees of sexual assault and each holds its own degree of penalty. Below is a summary of each.

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

First Degree (Felony): A sexual act involving penetration and includes victims under age of 13, the defendant is in authority, or lives in the household, multiple people involved in the coercion, personal injury, victim is incapacitated and unable to connect.

Punishment for First Degree (felony): Life in prison and lifetime mandatory sex offender registration.

Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Second Degree: Sexual contact with no penetration with the genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttock or breast, and any of the circumstances listed in the first degree CSC.

Punishment for Second Degree (Felony): The sentences is a felony with up to fifteen years in prison and and a lifetime electronic monitoring if the actor is 17 years of age or older against an individual less than 13 years of age.

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Third Degree: Sexual Penetration and any of the following: victim is 13-15 years old, forces or coercion, victim is incapacitated, unable to consent due to mental challenges, intoxication, date rape drugs, etc.

Punishment for Third Degree: This is a felony charge with up to fifteen years in prison and mandatory sex offender registration.

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Fourth Degree: Sexual Conduct and any of the following: force or coercion, victim incapacity (Unable to consent to due to age, mental challenges, intoxication, date rape drug, etc. In addition, defendant works for the department of corrections and the victim in an inmate.

Fourth Degree Punishment: This charge is considered a misdemeanor and a defendant can serve up to two years in prison and receive a fine of $500.

Seek Help for Rape Charges

Being charged with some kind of rape charge or sexual assault, no matter the level of degree, puts you in a serious situation. Seeking the advice of an experienced defense attorney is a crucial part to helping your case. Rape and sexual assault cases are an area that we have experience in defending here at David Kramer Law Firm, PLLC. Call today.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000