The degrees of criminal sexual conduct include CSC 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree.
You must consult with a dependable, knowledgeable and aggressive lawyer to fight your sex crime charges and/or allegations, and attorney Nicole Blank Becker embodies all of those qualities.
Refer to Nicole’s bio, and you will see why Blank Law, PC is the law firm you not only need, but MUST HAVE when it comes to sexual assault related charges.
Being charged with a sex crime in Michigan can be devastating. Even without a conviction, allegations of most sex crimes are enough to destroy families, ruin careers, and leave irreparable damages to your reputation.
Since these ramifications can be extremely long-lasting and life-altering, having a reliable Michigan criminal defense attorney by your side is critical if you ever get arrested for or accused of a sex-related crime.
A good attorney can help you avoid incarceration, sex offender registration, and hefty fines that come with a conviction, along with other damaging repercussions that stem from any criminal sexual conduct (CSC) charge or conviction.
Breaking Down the Four Different Criminal Sexual Conduct
While you may not have encountered any arrest, charge, or accusation yet, there may be an ongoing investigation you are not aware of.
Understanding the four different CSC degrees can help you be better prepared if and when you are charged.
1. Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree: Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520b
First degree CSC is the harshest charge of all four categories.
Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree also involves claims of serious mental issues, which sometimes makes a charge of CSC third degree increase to CSC 1st degree.
CSC 1st degree usually has an enormous psychological toll on all of the actors involved.
Upon conviction, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree penalties can attract up to life in prison. If a child under the age of 13 alleges penetration, the sex offender faces a mandatory minimum sentencing of 25 years in prison, along with needing to be put on Michigan’s sex offender registry for life.
Under the Michigan Penal Code section 750.520b, the actions of the accused that may result in a first degree CSC charge include sexual penetration with the following circumstances:
- Involving a child under 13 years
- With an individual aged not below 13, but less than 16 years of age as long as the sex offender is a member of the victim’s household, holds a position of authority to force penetration, or is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the fourth degree
- With another person when armed or with something the victim believes is a weapon
- With another person while committing another felony
- That results in an injury on a person as you use force to achieve sexual intercourse
- With another person while having prior knowledge of their physical or mental incapacitation and is a related to the fourth degree or over whom you hold a position of power that you use to have sexual intercourse with the person
- Resulting in an injury to a person to whom you knew their physical or mental incapacitation
According to the statute, using a position of authority as a school teacher, school employee, or volunteer to coerce sexual penetration or establish a relationship can also provide grounds for a charge of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
Additionally, an employee or a worker in a child care facility who is accused of using their position to force penetration on a resident stands being charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
2. Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree: Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520c
In the state of Michigan, second degree CSC entails touching a person for arousal or sexual gratification, or sexually touching a person for revenge, humiliation, or out of anger.
Unlike CSC 1st degree, second degree CSC does not involve penetration. Upon conviction, criminal sexual conduct in the second degree can attract penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
Under the Michigan Penal Code section 750.520c, you can be charged with second degree CSC for suspicion of having sexual contact with the following group of people:
- A minor under 13 years of age
- A child aged 13 to 16 who lives in your household and is related to the fourth degree
- A student at a school where you work at any capacity
- A resident at a foster home or a child care facility where you work
- A relative to the fourth degree who has a mental or physical disability and whom you hold a position of authority over
- A person in the department of corrections where you work
- A prisoner or probationer, when you are their officer in charge
Other circumstances that could constitute the basis for a CSC second degree charge may include:
- Sexual contact occurs when the actor is in the course of the commission of another felony
- Sexual contact where you were aided by one actor or more where force or coercion was used or where the victim was physically or mentally impaired
- Sexual contact happened while you were armed or with an object the victim perceived to be a weapon
- The victim sustained injuries resulting from force or coercion during the sexual contact
- Sexual contact inflicts bodily injury to a victim whom you had prior knowledge of their physical or mental disability
3. Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree: Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520d
Of all Michigan sex crimes, this can at times be a complicated form of CSC.
CSC 3rd degree, also referred to as “Statutory Rape,” entails sexual penetration (oral, genital or anal openings) with minors from 13 years old to 15 years old, or even older, or people with disabilities.
In some instances, the complainant/alleged victim of a third degree criminal sexual conduct in Michigan case may not feel like moving forward, but the state may pursue charges anyway.
CSC 3rd degree penalties carry a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison upon conviction. Third degree CSC also has a mandatory minimum sentencing of one year in prison, and sex offender registration is required.
It is not uncommon for school-going teens to find themselves as the accused and charged with CSC 3rd degree for having what may otherwise be considered as consensual sex (legally you cannot have sex or oral penetration if you are 15 years old or younger) with their boyfriends or girlfriends, especially when all of the actors are minors, or one of the two are minors.
Third degree CSC charges are similar to first degree CSC charges in that it involves penetration.
Under the Michigan Penal Code section 750.520d, you can be charged with third degree CSC if any of the following applies:
- A victim is a minor aged between 13 to 15
- The use of force or coercion
- A person you had prior knowledge of their physical or mental disability
- Your relation to the fourth degree, who isn’t your spouse, and to whom you held a position of authority
- A student aged 16 to 18 when you were a teacher or worked at the school in any capacity
- A special needs student aged 16 to 26 when you worked at their school at any capacity, unless the student was your spouse
- A special needs student aged 16 to 26 when you are an employee at the school or held a position of authority that was abused to coerce sexual penetration
- A minor of at least 16 who is in foster care or a children facility where you worked under any capacity
4. Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree: Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520e
Fourth degree CSC in Michigan is a high-misdemeanor/low felony sex crimes offense involving unwanted sexual touching.
It typically involves touching a person for sexual nature purposes, and the accuser/alleged victim of 4th degree criminal sexual conduct is typically an adult, physically or mentally incapacitated, a close relative, or through abuse of relationships like teacher-student or warden-prisoner.
Under the Michigan Penal Code section 750.520e, you may be charged with fourth degree CSC if you are accused of having sexual contact with:
- A teenager between the ages of 13 to 16 AND you are at least five years older than they are
- Another person by using physical force, violence, threats to violence, or unethical medical treatment for an examination aimed at sexual gratification
- Through concealment of surprise
- A patient or client who is not your spouse when you are a mental health professional and is within two years of you treating the victim
- A student 16 to 18 years of age when working at their school, except when the victim is your spouse
- A special needs student aged between 16 and 26 when working at their school, except if the student was your spouse
- A resident of a foster home or a children’s facility who is at least age 16 when you are an employee of the institution
Defending Your Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases
Criminal sexual conduct crimes of all degrees are often complicated, with some being motivated by malice.
Often the actor(s) may involve a family member, an estranged or current romantic partner, colleagues, or even friends.
Motivations for being accused of a sex offender could be anything from relationship tensions to misunderstandings. It is not unusual for people to be falsely accused of criminal sexual conduct crimes in the middle of custody battles, divorce, and breakups.
Regardless of the degrees of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan that you are accused of committing, the burden of proof always lies with the State. They must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you have done something wrong.
The outcome of criminal sexual conduct charges pressed against you will depend heavily on the lawyer you choose to defend you and your future. It is, therefore, an absolute necessity to hire an experienced Michigan CSC defense lawyer to represent you in a criminal sexual conduct case.
These charges are no laughing matter. You need and deserve the BEST defense attorney with experience that surpasses all the others when it comes to criminal sexual conduct in Michigan.
An excellent criminal defense attorney will focus on the inconsistencies and gaps in the victim’s story and use them to show the jury, and all of those involved, how those gaps and inconsistencies align with your version of the events.
Trust Our Criminal Defense Lawyers at Blank Law, PC to Handle Your Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases
If you are ever accused of/charged with criminal sexual conduct in Michigan, choosing an experienced defense attorney who focuses solely on sex crimes charges could make the difference between getting a conviction and having your charges dropped.
You do not want to take a gamble with an inexperienced sex offender defense lawyer who charges less when your whole future depends on your case’s outcome.
Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC is a top Michigan criminal defense attorney and is solely focused on sex crimes. She has prosecuted and defended thousands of accused persons for all four degrees of criminal sexual conduct and sexual related crimes, with unmatched success.
Nicole also prides herself on keeping a great attorney-client relationship, and all confidential or sensitive information you say to her remains exactly that, 100% confidential.
Contact us online or call Nicole today and learn how the best criminal defense lawyer in Michigan can help you handle your criminal sexual conduct case.