Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree
First degree criminal sexual conduct is the harshest charge that exists when it comes to sex crimes.
While there are four different degrees of sexual assault crimes, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree is considered to be the worst charge of all four.
First degree CSC can best be defined by the fact that it involves penetration.
The difference between each degree of CSC sex offense or sexual assault charge depends on whether or not the accuser alleges some type of penetration or unwanted touching of a sensitive area of his/her body.
If the allegations involve some type of penetration, you should be concerned that you may be charged/being investigated for either first degree criminal sexual conduct or criminal sexual conduct third degree.
If the accuser alleges some type of sexual contact or touching, then you should be concerned that you may be charged with either criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree or criminal sexual conduct 4th degree.
If you are charged/being investigated for a sexual assault or any sex offender crime under 1st degree CSC, that means that someone (the accuser) is claiming you had sexual penetration (vaginal, anal or oral) with him/her, and another fact also applied.
In other words, either you had sex with the accuser and he/she was under the age of 13, or you had sex with the accuser and you are related and he/she is under the age of 13, or you had sex with the accuser, aged 13–15 years old, and he/she claims having mental issues as a direct result of the act of sexual penetration, etc.
DO MY ACTIONS FIT THE CRIME OF 1st DEGREE CSC?
Below is the legal definition of 1st degree CSC as defined under the Michigan Penal Code; MCL 750.520b
*If your actions match any of the following circumstances, you may be charged/investigated for CSC 1st Degree:
- Sexual penetration with another person, and if any of the following circumstances exists:
- That other person is under 13 years of age;
- That the accuser is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and any of the following circumstances:
- You are a member of the same household as the victim;
- You are related to the accuser by blood or affinity to the fourth degree;
- You are in a position of authority over the victim and used this authority to coerce the victim to submit;
- You are a teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator of the public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district in which that other person is enrolled;
- You are an employee or a contractual service provider of the public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district in which that other person is enrolled, or is a volunteer who is not a student in any public school or nonpublic school, or is an employee of this state or of a local unit of government of this state or of the United States assigned to provide any service to that public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district, and the actor uses his or her employee, contractual, or volunteer status to gain access to, or to establish a significant relationship with, that other person;
- You are an employee, contractual service provider, or volunteer of a child care organization, or a person licensed to operate a foster family home or a foster family group home in which that other person is a resident, and the sexual penetration occurs during the period of that other person’s residency
- Sexual penetration occurs under circumstances involving the commission of any other felony;
- You are aided or abetted by 1 or more other persons and either of the following circumstances exists:
- The actor knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally impaired, mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless;
- The actor uses force or coercion to accomplish the sexual penetration;
- You are armed with a weapon, or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead a person to reasonably believe it to be a weapon;
- You cause personal injury to the victim and force or coercion is used to accomplish the sexual penetration.
- You cause personal injury to the victim, and the actor knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless;
- The accuser is mentally incapable, mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless and any of the following:
- You are related to the accuser by blood or affinity to the fourth degree; or
- You are in a position of authority over the accuser and used your authority to coerce him/her to submit.
Frequently Asked Questions about CSC 1st Degree:
Q: I barely put my finger in her vagina – why am I charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct?
A: This question comes up all the time. The short answer is because the accuser is claiming you put your finger inside her labia minora or her labia majora. (Refer to the definitions above regarding the female anatomy).
In order to be charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct, “any entry, no matter how slight, is enough.” In other words, if your finger, tongue, genitalia, any part of your body or any other object enters, “no matter how slight,” the accuser’s mouth, genital organs, anal opening, or genital opening, and the accuser is under the age of 13, you can be charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
BEWARE: Oftentimes, if the police are not sure if your finger actually went into the accuser’s vagina, they will bring you in for questioning. They will request that you trace your hand on a piece of paper and then ask you to draw a line to show how much of your finger went inside her vagina.
You may think, “well, if I just show it was the tip, I am not going to get into that much trouble,” NOT TRUE!
You should not engage in that exercise with the police! It will be used against you.
Q: Why am I being investigated for sexual conduct in the first degree when the accuser cannot even remember what day any of the allegations occurred on?
A: The state is NOT required to prove/show the exact day and/or time the allegations took place for all criminal sexual conduct charges. The only time that dates and times matter, and must be proven by the state, are when determining the age of the accuseer for purposes of how to charge you. Was he/she under 13 years old? Was he/she between 13 -15 years old? Or was he/she an adult?
Q: If we only had sex three (3) times, on the same night, why am I charged with three (3) separate charges of CSC 1st degree?
A: The law allows the state to authorize separate charges for each sexual penetration that is alleged. Therefore, if you engaged in sex three times in one night, legally you could be charged, convicted and punished for three seperate counts of CSC 1st degree.
In attorney Nicole Blank Becker’s experience, the state typically does not charge this way.
NOTE: If they do charge that way, they may ask for consecutive sentencing if it involves three (3) counts of CSC 1st degree.
Q: If I gave the accuser oral sex and no other part of my body went inside them, that is not penetration and I won’t be charge with sexual conduct in the first, is it?
A: Cunnilingus and fellatio (oral sex) both fall under first degree criminal sexual conduct. They require no separate proof of any intrusion.
THE FORENSIC INTERVIEW
In order for you to get charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree with a child under the age of 13, the child must disclose some type of penetration during a forensic interview at a Child Advocacy Center (i.e. Care House, Kids Talk, etc.).
If the child does not disclose anything at the Child Advocacy Center, then the state cannot proceed with charging you.
A defense to first degree criminal sexual conduct does exist. There are several legal arguments that can be made in order to combat this charge in court.
Building a defense for a first degree criminal sexual conduct charge takes skill and years of experience with sex crime cases.
As the prior Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, Nicole Blank Becker has seen just about every fact scenario, claim and defense you can imagine when it comes to first degree criminal sexual conduct.
Nicole has read thousands of warrants, which included thousands of claims made by accusers, and thousands of defenses made by suspects.
Nicole has tirelessly gone to jury trial on thousands of child molestation and sexual assault cases, familiarizing herself with each and every defense that was presented.
Nicole puts you way ahead of the game in terms of formulating not just a defense, but the best one for your circumstances.
Nicole is known for her impeccable attention to detail and her ability to find legal issues, and then use those details and issues in formulating the best defense for you.
Nicole has the experience to back up her analysis of your case and determine an appropriate defense that’s unique to your situation.
Nicole knows the difference between trumped up charges and charges based on accusations.
Keep in mind, if you choose to plead, as opposed to putting yourself, family, and others through a jury trial, a good defense is knowing when to take advantage of the right plea offer.
Taking advantage of a plea offer does not mean they won and you lost. It means that you and Nicole have discussed your defense, the pros and cons of going to jury trial, and your final decision is the smartest and well educated one that minimizes your future damages.
Negotiating when the charge is first degree criminal sexual conduct is not an easy feat. However, it’s one Nicole has done repeatedly at the client’s request.
Nicole knows what charges she can negotiate and what charges cause challenges. If you hire an attorney that has not been in the trenches, like Nicole has, that lawyer may not be able to negotiate nearly as well as Nicole to get the best outcome for you, because they may not even know what all the possibilities are.
That is why you hire an experienced attorney like Nicole to get the job done correctly, the first time, on your behalf. Do not let just any attorney negotiate your future, and your life.
An inexperienced attorney may tell you there is NO defense to a first degree criminal sexual conduct charge. If you hear this, RUN AND RUN FAST!
There is always a defense that can be formulated when it comes to first degree criminal sexual conduct, especially when you did not commit the crime. The last thing you want is to be a person convicted of such an offense.
DEFENSES THAT WILL NEVER WORK
There are a number of defenses that will never work when it comes to a criminal sexual conduct first degree charge:
- There is no defense of: mistake of his/her age. In other words, you thought he/she was 16 years old or he/she told you that they were 18 years old, or the dating app said they had to be 18 years or older to participate. There is no defense for: you didn’t know how old she was at the time you began being intimate with him/her.
- There is no defense for: but she told me she was 16 years old.
- There is no defense for: but she lied to me and told me she was 17 years old.
None of the above are valid legal arguments to criminal sexual conduct first degree in Michigan.
The defenses of ignorance or honest mistake of fact can never be argued to a jury. As an adult, you are 100% responsible for knowing how old the person you choose to get intimate with is, no excuses.
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM CHARGED WITH FIRST DEGREE CSC?
The time to start formulating your defense is now. Use the uncontroverted skills and knowledge of attorney Nicole Blank Becker to lead you through this process and get you the best possible outcome there is.
Nicole knows exactly how to navigate the system in order to best serve you and your needs. She has the experience needed and is ready to get the best defense and strategy together for the future fight of your life. She also prides herself to keeping a great attorney-client relationship, and everything you say to her is 100% confidential.
The sooner you call Attorney Nicole Blank Becker and get her involved, the better your outcome will be. Call Blank Law, PC today at (248) 515-6583.
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