Michigan Criminal Law: Sex Crimes; Sexual Conduct Charges, “CSC’s”

Michigan law prohibits certain types of behavior related to sexual activity. These series of laws are collectively known as “criminal sexual conduct” or CSC charges. The charges vary significantly depending upon the alleged conduct.

These charges may fall under various different sections; however the “criminal sexual conduct” section of Michigan’s penal code, MCL 750.520-520n is fairly comprehensive. Penalties if convicted depend on the alleged conduct and range from misdemeanors to capitol charges. Further, charges under this code may also require registration pursuant to SORA; see MCL 750.520b (2)(a-d);(Sex Offender Registration Act, MCL 295.723 et. seq.) and up to lifetime monitoring.

The following is a list of some of the more commonly charged “CSC” offenses:

Criminal Sexual Conduct, First Degree, MCL 750.520b is the most serious of these charges. This is a “capitol offense,” meaning a person convicted may be looking at up to life in prison, and, in certain situations, a mandatory minimum sentence of at-least twenty-five years up to life in prison if convicted. MCL 750.520b (2)(a-d). For more information on Michigan’s Criminal Sexual Conduct, First Degree charge, click here.

Criminal Sexual Conduct Second Degree, MCL 750.520c is a slightly less severe, but similar charge to Criminal Sexual Conduct, First Degree. Convictions for this charge may include up to fifteen years in prison, assuming the alleged defendant is not charged as a habitual offender, and up to lifetime monitoring and SORA registration. See MCL 750.520c (2)(a-b).For more information on Michigan’s Criminal Sexual Conduct, Second Degree charge, click here.

 

Sexual Conduct Third Degree, MCL 750.520d is factually similar charge to Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree; however, it has a few important distinguishing characteristics which make the penalties if convicted less severe than the capital charge, Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree. Convictions for this charge may include up to fifteen years in prison, assuming the alleged defendant is not charged as a habitual offender, SORA registration, and other penalties; however, lifetime monitoring is not expressly included under this charge. See MCL 750.520d (2). For  more information on Michigan’s Criminal Sexual Conduct, Third Degree charge, click here.

 

Criminal Sexual Conduct, Fourth Degree, MCL 750.520e is factually similar to Criminal Sexual Conduct, Second Degree; however, it also has certain key distinguishing features which mean that penalties for conviction of this charge are the least severe out of all the charges listed above. This charge is a misdemeanor. If convicted, a person may be sentenced “by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both,”MCL 750.520e (2) probation, possible SORA requirements, or other sanctions.

 

Similar to the differences between Criminal Sexual Conduct, First Degree and Third Degree, a key distinction with this charge is the age-range of the alleged victim. Consent is a significant element. Criminal Sexual Conduct Fourth Degree prohibits any sexual contact if the alleged victim is between the ages of thirteen and sixteen and the alleged actor is five years or older than the alleged victim. MCL 750.520e (1)(a)In contrast, charges for Criminal Sexual Conduct, Second Degree for alleged sexual contact for an alleged victim between the ages 13 and 16 is only appropriate if the alleged circumstances meets the criteria listed in MCL 750.520c (2)(b)(i-vi).  For more information on Michigan’s Criminal Sexual Conduct, Fourth Degree charge, click here.

For information on polygraph tests, click here.
For information on Michigan’s charge, “Gross Indecency,” click here.
For information on Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act, or “SORA,” click here.

The following is a only a partial list of the possible sexual-conduct related charges. There are older statutes and different provisions of the Michigan Penal code which also may the basis for charges related to alleged sexual conduct. More information will be posted on these different kinds in the future.

Our experienced and dedicated attorneys have represented clients regarding a variety of CSC charges throughout the state of Michigan. We fight hard for our clients. For a free initial consultation, please call our Lansing office at (517) 507-5077.

If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. Any charged with a criminal offense is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The following series of posts is for general educational purposes only. Circumstances may vary significantly. If you need specific legal advice, please privately consult with a lawyer.