In some instances, accusations may involve alleged offenders who did not get through with physically committing the offense, but showed intent to commit criminal sexual conduct. Depending on the intended sexual activity, the defendant may be faced with penal code 750.520g:
● Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving penetration charges, or
● Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct in the second degree charges, which does not involve sexual penetration
Because of the serious ramifications of a sex crime allegation, charge, or conviction, it’s always best to find a criminal defense attorney as soon as you get arrested, accused, or realize you’re being investigated. The right lawyer should have vast experience in Michigan criminal law and should be focused solely on sex crimes. If you have been arrested for or accused of intent to commit criminal sexual conduct, contact Blank Law, PC to book a free initial consultation.
Criminal Sexual Conduct Assault With Intent To Commit Sexual Penetration
Michigan’s penal code 750.520g assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving sexual penetration shall, upon conviction, be a felony punishable by imprisonment. Assault, in this case, refers to the use of force, coercion, physical violence, which could include battery, intimidation/threats, or when carrying any item that could be misconstrued as a weapon by the victim, to achieve sexual penetration. This offense is also referred to as assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
DO MY ACTIONS FIT THE CRIME?
For a person to get convicted of assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving sexual penetration, the prosecution must prove in court, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:
a) The actor assaulted another person
The legal definition of an assault may differ by jurisdiction. In general, assault is defined as knowingly putting another person in fear of violence being meted on them. Evidence of physical harm is not required for assault, as long as the victim was in reasonable apprehension of harmful physical contact at the commission of the offense.
b) The assault was with the intention of achieving sexual penetration of another person
In Michigan law, sexual penetration is defined as any sexual or anal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, or any insertion, irrespective of how slight it is, of any body part or anything else into the anal openings or genital of another individual. Emission of semen doesn’t have to be there for sexual contact to be defined as penetration. When actual penetration is achieved, the defendant could be charged with first or third degree criminal sexual conduct, which are both a felony punishable by imprisonment.
A conviction with first degree CSC carries a maximum of life in prison, while you could get up to 15 years in prison for a third degree CSC conviction.
However, where the prosecution believes that actual penetration occurred, but cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, first or third degree CSC charges may be reduced to assault with the intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving penetration. This is also a felony punishable by imprisonment, but carries a lesser punishment of not more than ten years in prison, or even probation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Is attempted criminal sexual conduct the same as assault with the intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving penetration?
A: No. before delving into the difference between the two offenses, you must understand the meaning of attempted crime. An attempted crime can be defined as when a person takes a step of actualizing a crime beyond mere preparation, but does not succeed in committing the crime. That said, an attempted criminal sexual conduct charge can occur where a person had intent to commit criminal sexual conduct, irrespective of the method used to achieve the objective. On the other hand, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving penetration charges are usually pressed when a person assaults another with a specific intention of achieving sexual penetration, irrespective of whether they succeed at it or not.
Q: Can a sex offender travel?
A: Yes, you can travel even when you are a registered sex offender. However, it is conditional in that you have to notify your authorities of your intent to travel. If, for instance, you are traveling from one state to another for more than seven days, you must notify the law enforcement authorities in person within three days before your travel date.
Additionally, having your name on the federal sex offender registry can limit the places you can visit. For example, you may not visit Disneyland since it is frequented by children, and some countries may deny you entry based on your criminal record.
Like other sex crimes, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving penetrationis a serious crime with life-altering consequences upon conviction. As per Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520g, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving sexual penetration shall be a felony punishable by imprisonment, upon conviction, of a maximum of ten years.
However, with exemplary legal representation, and depending on the circumstances, there is the possibility of receiving probation upon a conviction for assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct under the Criminal Sexual Conduct Act. In simple terms, you can be convicted of Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520g, assault with intent to penetrate, and never serve time in prison.
It is also essential to understand that following Michigan’s supreme court ruling, a judge is at liberty to pass any sentence they may deem reasonable, depending on the severity and the circumstances of the sexual crime in question. The supreme court argued that it is the judge’s responsibility, and not the legislature, to determine the reasonable sentence for every specific case.
Incarceration, fines, and probations are not the only ramifications of getting convicted of assault with intent to sexually penetrate. In most cases, there are other far-reaching and life-altering consequences, particularly due to the defendant’s registration as a sex crimes offender with the federal sex offender registry.
Some of the consequences of being registered as a sex offender include:
- Problems at securing a job. Most employers run a background check and can avoid hiring a person with a criminal record.
- Problems with accessing rental housing. Like employers, landlords and housing agents run background checks on their tenants and may be wary of allowing a person with a criminal record in their houses.
- A lifetime of electronic monitoring. Upon conviction, a sex offender must wear an electronic ankle bracelet that the authorities can use to track their movements.
- Limitations on where one can work or live. Upon conviction for sex crimes in Michigan, a sex crimes offender has restrictions on the distance from a school, or a children’s institution, within which they can live or work.
- Having professional licenses canceled or suspended. Upon conviction of any sex offense, a sexual conduct offender may lose their professional licenses, in some professions, like teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, or any other profession that involves working with people who could be at risk based on their sex offender status.
- Deportation. For convicted non-American citizens.
Defending assault with intent to commit sexual penetration may depend on several circumstances, which include the victim’s age and visible evidence of an assault. If the assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct charges involve a minor, using the victim’s consent in the defense is out of the question. In Michigan, the age of consent is 16. However, it is unlawful for a teacher, or any worker at a children’s institution who holds a position of authority, to engage in sex with students or a children’s home resident below 18.
When defending a charge of assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct, where a minor is involved, one of the possible defense arguments would be that there was no intent to sexually penetrate or have sexual contact whatsoever, even where assault can be proved. Alternatively, your defense could be that nothing happened and that the child is not honest. Your criminal defense attorney can also help you argue that it’s a case of mistaken identity, especially if there’s potentially another perpetrator, or an alibi, in your case.
Since cases involving children are very sensitive, it is vital to work with an experienced sex crimes defense attorney. The right criminal defense lawyer should help you invalidate the available evidence while being careful not to demean the minor, which could be damaging to your case.
On the other hand, where the assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving sexual penetration cases involves victims over the consent age, consent may be applicable as a defense, where there are no apparent signs of assault. However, using consent as a defense will require you to work with experienced sex crimes attorneys, as it involves placing yourself in the middle of the alleged crime.
By looking at all the evidence presented by the prosecution, and the other evidence that exists, including what you have in your possession, a good lawyer, with experience in the Michigan criminal law, should be able to create a strategy that introduces reasonable doubt to the prosecution’s case, which can significantly affect the outcome of your assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct case.
Hire Blank Law, PC
Sex crimes are usually very sensitive and call for legal representation as soon as you get accused of, arrested for, or realize you are under investigation. Michigan’s criminal defense lawyer Nicole Blank Becker, of Blank Law, PC, has over 20 years of experience in Michigan criminal law. For the most part, her practice has been focused on sex crimes, making her a powerhouse in the field. Besides serving Michigan residents as a defense attorney, she has also worked in the prosecution’s office and as Chief of the Sex Crime and Child Abuse Units in Macomb County, gaining invaluable experience that puts her on top of her peers.
Irrespective of the type of sex crime case you could be facing, Nicole can handle it with exceptional success. Do not let your sex crime allegations or charges ruin your life. Contact Blank Law, PC today online or give us a call at 248-505-5929 for a free consultation.
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