There are three degrees of felony criminal sexual conduct in Michigan, as well as fourth degree criminal sexual conduct and certain other misdemeanor offenses.
First degree criminal sexual conduct involves sexual penetration and the presence of other factors indicating the severity of the conduct. This can include a victim who is a minor, a blood relative, or mentally or physically handicapped victim. It can also include where force or threat of force is present, injury occurs due to force or coercion, where the defendant is in a position of authority over the accused, or where the sexual penetration occurs during the commission of another felony.
Second degree criminal sexual conduct occurs where there is no sexual penetration, but there is sexual conduct with the presence of various serious factors such as those listed above.
Third degree criminal sexual conduct involves sexual penetration but the aggravating factors required for first degree criminal sexual conduct are not present. This can include where the victim is between 13 and 16 years of age, or where the victim and accused are related.
Fourth degree criminal sexual conduct is based on sexual contact that does not rise to the level of the various felonies, and that involves a minor, mentally handicapped individual or blood relative, or is done by force, threat of force, false pretenses or surprise, or in the context of unethical medical treatment. Fourth degree criminal sexual conduct is called a misdemeanor but is really treated as a felony in Michigan, as these offenses carry the possibility of two years in prison and generally require registration on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry.
True misdemeanors include indecent exposure and other lewd conduct, as well as first and second offenses for prostitution or solicitation. These offenses may lead to jail time and can still lead to registry on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry.
Any sex crime case is a serious case. No matter how minor, the charges have the potential to dramatically impact the accused’s reputation and personal life. An experienced Michigan sex crime attorney should fully investigate the facts of your case, advise you of all your options, and represent your interests aggressively in court to ensure the best possible outcome. At Grabel & Associates, we have a combined experience of over 100 years of successfully representing clients charged with sex crimes. Call us today at (800) 342-7896 for a confidential consultation.