Pleadings and Motions in a Michigan Sex Offense Case
During the pre-trial stage of the criminal process, there are a number of different legal approaches that can be taken which will shape the rest of your sex crime case. It is important to be aware of the different pleas available as well as motions that can be filed before your case goes to trial. Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer will help you ensure you are fully aware of how any pre-trial action could affect your outcome, and that you have properly considered each potentially beneficial strategy.
After you are arrested, you will likely face arraignment right away. If you are facing a misdemeanor 4th degree CSC charge, you will have the opportunity to enter a plea at this initial arraignment. If you are facing a felony CSC charge, some pre-trial actions and plea bargaining will take place before a secondary arraignment in Circuit Court, at which point you may enter a plea.
Pleas in a Sexual Offense Cases
The different types of pleas in Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct cases are listed below:
Guilty: If you plead guilty, you are admitting that you committed CSC. You waive all rights and completely admit guilt if you plead guilty. Although a judge can then issue a sentence immediately, it is likely that the prosecution along with a recommendation will issue a report, and sentencing will take place at a later date.
Not Guilty: If you plead not guilty to Michigan CSC charges, you deny the charges faced and the prosecution must then prove you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
No Content (Nolo Contendre): A no contest plea results in the same punishment that a guilty plea would, however the defendant could not be also served a civil suit, since there is no guilty plea on record. Like a guilty plea, the court’s consent is required to enter this plea.
Standing Mute/Failure to Enter a Plea: A defendant can stand mute, not enter a plea, or simply fail to appear, at which point the court will treat it as if a plea of not guilty was entered.
Choosing Which Type of Plea to Enter in a CSC Case
The most important consideration in many cases is what type of plea to enter, and there are numerous factors that must be considered. Always consult an attorney before you speak to police or appear before a judge. It is critical that you understand how a particular plea could affect your chances of achieving your desired case outcome, and an experienced sex crimes lawyer can help you discern what the best approach is for your unique case.
Pre-Trial Motions in a Michigan CSC Case
A pretrial motion is a written or oral request to a judge to rule a certain way on a detail of the case before trial. For example, a defense lawyer may want to have certain unethically collected evidence excluded from a trial, and would use a motion to attempt to accomplish this goal.
Types of motions include evidentiary motions, which challenge the validity of evidence, the means by which it was collected, or the procedures followed in handling evidence, and a successful motion could result in certain portions of the prosecutions case being forbidden from trial proceedings.
Some motions also challenge the legality of arrest or investigative procedures. If a defendant was not informed of his or her rights, or if probable cause for arrest was not established, the defendant may be able to fight the charges or have charges reduced.
Another type of pretrial motion is the discovery motion. These types of motions typically are used to get the opposing counsel to produce a specific document or piece of evidence that should have been required to be submitted as part of the pretrial case.
It is also possible to file a motion for summary judgment, or a motion to dismiss the case, in addition to other possible actions that can be taken before trial. It can be extremely complicated to figure out which motions, if any, should be filed, and what the chances of succeeding with a motion are. Working with a Michigan defense lawyer can help you get the guidance you need when making such an important and potentially life changing decision.
Contact Michigan Sex Crime Defense Lawyers Grabel & Associates
Speak with a lawyer now and learn more about motions and pleas in CSC cases. Call 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online for a free initial case analysis, and begin working to protect your rights and freedom. We are available 24/7 to take your call.