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Sex Crimes Glossary of Terms

Below is a glossary of terms used in sex crime cases and throughout our site. If you have any legal questions pertaining to your case, don’t hesitate to contact Grabel & Associates for a free consultation.

Age of Consent: the age at which a person is legally capable of consenting to sexual intercourse. In Michigan, the age of consent is 16. Engaging in sexual contact with a person under the age of 16 could result in charges of sex with a minor, statutory rape, CSC, or other serious charges.

Appeal: After a person has been convicted of a sex crime, he or she may be able to challenge the sentence or verdict by appealing to a higher court. Our sex crime appeals attorneys can help you determine if an appeal is possible in your post-trial case.

Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Penetration: If a person attempts to use force, coercion, weapons, threats, or other means of assault to commit sexual penetration, he or she can be charged with CSC.

Charge: A charge is a formal statement of what the defendant is being accused of. If convicted of a specific charge, you will face the associated criminal penalties.

Child Abusive Activity: child sexually abusive activity including child pornography, child molestation, statutory rape, internet sex crimes, and neglect among other charges, can result in serious criminal penalties and will require the representation of a skilled attorney.

Child Molestation: Refers to sexual acts including contact with genitals or female breasts, taking pornographic pictures, rape, or other sexual acts involving a child. Molestation can also be used to describe cases involving relatives of involved minors.

Child Pornography: Depiction of sexual behavior through pictures, video, and other materials. Pornography involving minors (possession, creation, distribution, etc.) can result in serious criminal punishment.

Child Protective Services (CPS): A government agency that deals with reports of child abuse, neglect, and child sexually abusive activity. If you are charged with a sex crime, child protective services may take your children away.

Conviction: When a court finds a person guilty of a criminal charge, he or she has been convicted and will face criminal sentencing.

Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC): In the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree, criminal sexual conduct describes a number of sex related crimes involving penetration or contact either with minors, via force, involving students, or other offenses.

Date Rape: A sexual assault committed by an acquaintance or “date” usually involving drugs such as Rohypnol.

Defendant: The person who is charged with a crime is referred to as a defendant.

DNA Testing: Lab examination of blood, hair, semen, saliva, and other sources of DNA to determine if a person was at a crime scene, if he or she engaged in sexual activity with the alleged victim, and other details of a case.

Felony: Serious crimes that carry stiffer sentences are referred to as felonies.

Indecent Exposure: When a person deliberately exposes his or her genitals or if female, breasts, he or she can be charged with the crime of indecent exposure.

Lewd Conduct: Also known as lascivious conduct, any unlawful action designed to arouse another person can result in lewd conduct charges.

Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR): see Sex Crime Registration

Misdemeanor: “lesser” criminal acts are referred to as misdemeanors, however still can result in serious criminal penalties including jail time.

Personal Protection Order (PPO): PPOs can be obtained to stop a person from coming to another person’s home, work, or school; obtaining the address of a person, and other actions. Sex crime accusations are sometimes used to obtain PPOs.

Polygraph: Commonly known as a lie detector test, a polygraph measures a person’s involuntary responses to questions in order to determine if he or she is lying. Although not admissible in court, polygraphs can be used by police in attempts to prove guilt, but can also help a defendant prove innocence and obtain a case dismissal or dropped charges.

Prosecutor: The attorney carrying out a legal action against a defendant.

Prostitution: Engaging in sexual acts in exchange for money or other compensation. Prostitution is illegal and those who engage in prostitution or hire a prostitute can be charged with a sex crime.

Rohypnol: also known as “roofies,” an illegal drug causing memory loss that is commonly used in date rape cases.

Solicitation: To entice a person to commit a sexual act. Can be used to refer to attempts to hire a prostitute, seduce a minor, or engage in other illegal sexual conduct.

Sex Crime: a crime involving sexual activity, including rape, molestation, sexual assault, and sexual abuse.

Sex Crime Registration: In many sex crime cases, a person who has been convicted will be registered on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR). Sex offender registration allows anyone access to your information and details of your criminal record, and can make it difficult to obtain a job, a loan, or scholarships.

Sex Offender Registration: See Sex Crime Registration

Sexting: a form of sexual activity involving picture, text, or video messaging, usually involving pornographic photos exchanged between two persons, and in many cases minors.

Sexual Assault: Criminal sexual activity which involves actual physical violence or threats of harm.

Stalking: to persistently follow a person, often to the point of obsession. Contacting a person without their consent at work, home, or any other place can lead to accusations of stalking.

Statutory Rape: if a consensual sex act is committed with a minor, charges of statutory rape can be laid. Many statutory rape cases involve couples with one person who is under the age of consent, and are often brought on or influenced by parents or others.

Contact Scott Grabel for Criminal Sex Crime Defense

Sex crimes are taken very seriously in Michigan, and anyone accused of a sex related offense could face serious criminal penalties. Contact a Michigan sex crime defense lawyer immediately if you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault, rape, CSC, or any other sex crime. Our experienced attorneys will defend you throughout the criminal justice process, and we understand the legal issues that will affect your case.

Call 1-800-342-7896 now to speak with an experienced case consultant now, or contact us online. Ask to set up a free case consultation with trial lawyer Scott Grabel. Fight back against sex crime conviction with our experienced team now; our statewide attorneys are available 24/7.


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