Michigan Sex Crimes Attorney Tells You What You Need To Know
Are you looking for sex crime criminal defense attorneys from an award-winning firm in Michigan? George Law of Michigan focuses on strategically defending you and your freedoms against sex crime accusations and other criminal charges. You can rest assured that you have experienced and knowledgeable Michigan sex crimes attorneys by your side when you choose George Law. You will get a defense team with a perfect Avvo rating and five-star reviews on Yelp. Head attorney Derrick George, Esq., has been named a Martindale Hubbell Client Champion. Business has also awarded him the prestigious Top Criminal Defense Lawyer title. So don’t lose hope when someone accuses you of a sex offense. We know what it takes to defend you.
Critically, suppose the state charges you with a sex crime in Michigan. In that case, you’ll want an attorney who’s familiar with sex crime defenses, including how to navigate dealing with prosecutors and judges. Our primary mission is to fight for our clients when they need help the most, so we only employ the best legal professionals. Their decades of combined experience lend a hand to defending your reputation. So whether you face rape, sexual battery, child molestation, or other types of sexual misconduct, we will fight for you.
You should not suffer the harsh consequences of something you did not do. You could spend decades behind bars. Even if the judge gives you a lenient sentence, a conviction smears your image. Your family and friends will likely want to distance themselves from you. A criminal record will produce strenuous hurdles to overcome regarding job and housing security, especially if you must register as a sex offender. Determined prosecutors will not hold back in trying to get you convicted, regardless of whether the offense is a misdemeanor or felony.
The diligent criminal defense lawyers of George Law represent Michigan residents facing criminal charges, including unlawful sexual conduct. Given the consequences, you deserve a strategic, aggressive defense against these awful allegations. We understand how to shatter the prosecutor’s theory of your guilt. If Michigan has charged you with committing a sexual crime, schedule a free consultation online or call us at (248) 470-4300 today.
Unsurpassed Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys
Illicit sexual conduct crimes are more troubling than most crimes in Michigan. Local news tends to plaster the face of alleged sex criminals, even though you’re at the pre-trial stage. Unfortunately, the news of your arrest and charges can result in harsh penalties long before a trial is underway. They will likely upend your life and tarnish your reputation. A conviction only worsens matters, as employers, landlords, and even the education system may now discriminate against you. This is particularly unfortunate for someone who is rehabilitated, wrongfully convicted, or trying to return to a productive society. The conviction’s consequences are more severe when they require you to register as a sex offender for life.
You already know a sex crime is one of the worst crimes the state can bring against you. Your freedom, family, friends, and career could all be negatively impacted. Thus, it’s in your best interest to speak with a seasoned sex crime defense lawyer. The team at George Law has unsurpassed experience so that we can carefully review your charges, listen to your side of the story, and provide you with vital advice.
George Law specializes in defending people against Michigan sex crimes. Guided by a thorough and well-respected litigator who has fifteen years of experience, our firm provides big firm results with a small firm personal attention. We promise to treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve despite your charges. We look forward to safeguarding your rights as we’ve done for countless others in the Wolverine State.
Do not worry. You may be in a difficult situation, but you are not in an unbeatable situation. But the best way to start defending yourself and your reputation is to consult with sex crimes attorneys who have a history of success. Take advantage of your free consultation by contacting a George Law Michigan sex crimes lawyer online or at (248) 470-4300 today. We evaluate your charges and guide you through your legal options.
Overview Of Sex Crimes In Michigan
All across the nation, most people think of rape or child molestation when they think of sex offenses. However, there are all sorts of sex-related crimes a Michigan criminal court jury can find you guilty of committing. Prostitution and pimping are also common sex crimes. But did you know that assault or burglary with intent to commit sexual misconduct is another offense the state can bring against you? Are you aware that Michigan divides sexual offenses into three degrees, each carrying its own parameter of repercussions? Are you aware that some sexual offenses come with mandated, non-negotiable sex offender registration if a conviction occurs? Any sex crime can come with a hefty fine and a lengthy jail or prison sentence.
An alleged victim can accuse anyone of committing a sex crime. In the past, schools taught about “stranger danger,” but the reality is that most victims know the perpetrator. Over 90% of adolescent victims know the perpetrator of sexual assault crimes. Likewise, over 90% of collegiate-aged victims know their attacker. 85% of Michigan college students, in particular, know their attacker. What does this mean for you? It means your accuser may be your relative (e.g., parent, child, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle), friend, co-worker, employer, or employee.
If you must register as a sex offender, you should know about Michigan’s three-tier system. You can find more detailed information regarding the three-tier system in Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act (better known as “SORA”). Tier one registrants must register for fifteen years. Tier two registrants must register for twenty-five years. Tier three registrants must register for life. This list is a public record. Therefore, anyone can access it and use what they see against you. It won’t matter that you’re trying to move on with your life or have already paid your debt to society.
Often, when people discuss sex crimes, their focus is on women or minors. People do not as quickly discuss elderly and male victims. Recently, there have been more trends and organizations to speak up on behalf of non-women victims and shed light on women assaulters. It is also important to discuss sexual violence in non-heterosexual, traditional relationships.
For the reasons above, you’ll want a defense attorney who is keen on sex crimes in the Great Lake State and who is prepared to fight these charges for your benefit.
Read more in our blog: What Are Sexual Assault Kits in Sex Crime Cases in Michigan?
What Is Considered A Sex Crime In Michigan?
What Is Unlawful Sexual Conduct?
According to Michigan law, unlawful sexual conduct is any sex-related conduct that the state deems illegal. Unlawful sexual conduct is an umbrella term for the long list of sex crimes in Michigan. Michigan’s law books divide sexual misconduct into four categories, but we will only discuss the first three felony categories here. These categories are degrees of criminal sexual conduct, abbreviated as CSC. Michigan law breaks CSC into two classifications, “sexual penetration” and “sexual contact.” 1st and 3rd-degree criminal sexual conduct involves sexual penetration, whereas 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct involves sexual contact.
Michigan defines sexual penetration as “sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body [including] any object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body.” Michigan defines sexual contact as, “the intentional touching of the victim’s … intimate parts or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the victim’s … intimate parts, if [it could] reasonably be construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.”
We discuss the perimeters of CSC and their various punishments in more depth below.
1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
As its name may suggest, 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of all sexual misconduct tiers. One element must occur for your alleged act to fall into this category. One, actual sexual penetration must have taken place. The sexual penetration could be into the mouth, vagina, or anus. But this is not all. Your alleged act must also involve one of several factors. These factors are:
- The alleged victim was twelve years old or younger
- You held a supervisory or authoritative position over the alleged victim
- You used force or coercion to commit the act
- You used a weapon
Be forewarned that if your charge falls into this category and a jury convicts you, a judge has the discretion to sentence you to life behind bars. Even if a judge gives you a shorter sentence, Michigan law insists that if the victim is younger than thirteen, you must register as a sex offender for at least twenty-five years before applying to get your name removed from the list. Considering the severity of a first-degree charge, contact a skilled legal expert immediately. A good defense lawyer can reduce this charge to a lesser degree so that the penalties are less harsh.
2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
As you can guess, 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct is less serious than 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct. However, the penalties for offenses in this category are still less than desirable. A prosecutor must prove one element and at least one of several factors occurred for a jury to find you guilty. In this case, sexual contact with an intimate area, including the thigh, must have taken place. Intimate areas are the genitals, breast, and butt. Then, the prosecutor must prove one of the following:
- The alleged victim was twelve years old or younger
- The alleged victim was a family member (i.e., blood-related or adopted)
- You held a supervisory or authoritative position over the alleged victim
If a jury convicts you of this charge, a judge may sentence you to a maximum of fifteen years, and you can expect to register as a sex offender for twenty-five years.
3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Lastly, there is 3rd-degree criminal sexual conduct, the least severe of all of the degrees. Yet, that does not mean that you should take a criminal charge of this degree lightly. Sex crime convictions can disrupt your life, and a criminal record will most likely make your life more difficult. A prosecutor must prove that sexual penetration occurred between you and the alleged victim for this degree to stick. The sex may have seemed consensual in this case, but it is illegal due to the victim’s status. A person cannot consent to sex under certain conditions. These include:
- The victim has not reached the age of majority in Michigan (i.e., sixteen)
- The victim is mentally incapacitated during the sexual contact
- You used force to coerce the victim into submitting to the sexual contact
The most common 3rd degree CSC offense is statutory rape.
These offenses are punishable by a maximum of fifteen years. What may surprise you is that although this is a lesser offense than 2nd-degree CSC, state law requires you to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of your life. For this reason, you’ll want to speak with a legal professional who knows sex crime laws to avoid this devastating consequence.
What Is Sexual Activity?
Under Michigan law, sexual activity involves intimate touching, fondling, and intercourse that you do to create sexual gratification, sexual excitement, or eroticism. Oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, masturbation, groping, etc., are examples of sexual activity. Please be aware that caressing someone’s thigh is still considered sexual contact. If you have questions or concerns about what constitutes sexual activity, keep in mind that the courts will look into whether:
- Standard society considers it sexual
- You did it to achieve sexual stimulation
- You touched the genitals or other private area
Michigan Sex Crime Defense Attorneys
Are you accused of committing a sex crime in Michigan? If so, do not lose hope. Instead, contact a sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. The skilled Michigan sex crimes lawyers at George Law dedicate themselves to protecting you in sex crime cases. We will carefully examine your case, review your legal options, and execute all viable and reasonable defenses to fight these charges. We will, too, if the prosecutor wants to put the gloves on. We look forward to ensuring that you get the best resolution to your case. Schedule a free consultation online or call us at (248) 470-4300 to learn more.