Sex Crime Charges: Is My Life Over?
All criminal charges invoke fear in suspects, but none do it like sex offenses. Due to the social stigma and negative impact it brings, the mere thought of being accused of a state or federal sex crime is spine-chilling.
So, when you are accused and/or charged with sex crimes, it’s only natural to freak out. That brings us to our next question, does being charged with a sex crime mean your life is over? Discussed herein is an in-depth answer about sex crimes charges.
Does a Sex Crimes Charge Mean Your Life is Over?
The short answer to that is No. As we’ll discuss later, sure, being charged with criminal sexual conduct (CSC) or sex crimes in Michigan will, to some extent, negatively impact your life, but that does not mean it is over.
Technically, you are still innocent. An accusation is just that, an accusation!
Why? Well, being charged with sex crimes does not make you guilty. It means that state or federal law enforcement officers have reasons to believe you committed a felony related to a sex crime.
In order to begin an investigation, all the police need is someone saying to them that you committed sexual acts (no matter if it’s sexual contact or sexual penetration) to themselves or someone else either without their consent or while they were not of the age of consent. That is enough for the police to initiate an investigation about the said sex crimes.
A person’s words/accusations is all that is needed for the state to then initiate proceedings against you for a forced sexual intercourse charge, child pornography charge, sexual exploitation charge, i.e. indecent exposure, or any other sex crime charge in a court of law. With that said, remember, you are not yet guilty until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you indeed committed the sex crimes alleged. In other words, unless proven guilty, the sex crime charges are merely accusations, at best.
The Consequences of a Sex Crime Charge?
Being charged of sex crimes in Michigan does not mean you are guilty. Unfortunately, however, in the eye of the court of public opinion, such charges tend to work the opposite way.
What does this mean?
Whenever you’re charged with a criminal act, most people often perceive you as innocent until proven guilty. However, due to the stigma that sex crimes attract, when you’re charged with a CSC sex offense, the public perceives you as guilty until proven innocent. So, in a way, sex crime charges will negatively impact your life.
Here is how:
Negative Social Perception
There’s a lot of stigma that comes with sex crime charges. Even if you’re innocent, or let’s say a victim of someone filing a false police report, some ignorant members of your community may already perceive you as one of those registered sex offenders.
Unfortunately, some may even take it upon themselves to punish you either physically or by general harassment. Some of your friends and family may even distance themselves after they hear of such allegations of sex crimes, which can have a significant impact on your social well-being.
You May Lose Your Job or Housing
As mentioned, CSC cases, or even federal sex crimes, are perceived negatively across the globe. Thanks to this, nobody usually wants to be associated with anyone who has been accused of sex crimes. That means there’s always a high chance of losing your job after being investigated/charged with sex crimes.
Most employers often feel that the accused is not fit for their company and will figure out a way to fire them, making the alleged sex offender the ultimate victim.
Such allegations may also affect your employment opportunities in the future, especially if you were arrested, even though you are not listed as one of those convicted sex offenders on the public sex offender registration (Michigan Sex Offender Registry). That is because an arrest means you are being charged with a sex crime and it may appear on your criminal record as an arrest without conviction. What’s worse is that this extends to your housing options as well.
Sex Crime Charges
I’ve Been Charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan, Now What?
A CSC case can mean jail or prison and, eventually, require sex offender registration, i.e. the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. The good news is that you don’t have to wait for any of those things to occur and become a victim of wrong sex crime accusations.
Here’s what you can do after you are charged with a sexual assault or sexual misconduct crime in Michigan:
Familiarize Yourself with Your Charges
Sex crimes cases in Michigan are not a one size fits all. They’ve been broken down (or put into categories) as such:
For instance, CSC in the first degree, which has to do with sexual penetration (see the legal definition of sexual penetration here), is considered the most severe of all sexual offenses, i.e. forced sexual intercourse. If convicted, per the CSC 1st degree Michigan penalty, the suspect may serve a lifelong prison sentence, permanent electronic monitoring, and will be required to register as a sex offender with SORA for the rest of their life.
CSC in the fourth degree cases, on the other hand, has to do with sexual contact and are considered the least severe of all the degrees. If convicted, the suspect may serve jail time or probation and will be required to register with SORA for a certain period of time.
So, if you are being investigated or have been charged with CSC in Michigan (no matter if it’s sexual penetration or sexual contact), the first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with your csex crime harges so you can know what lies ahead of you.
Decline Searches or Tests
During the investigative stage and/or after you’re charged with a sex crime, the law enforcement agencies may try to search your devices or conduct tests on you in an attempt to find incriminating evidence. Even if you’re innocent, ensure you decline such searches and/or tests unless the officers show you an official search warrant.
Get Yourself a Sex Crimes Attorney as Soon as Possible
A sex crimes attorney in Michigan will help you avoid the blunders that most people make when charged with sex offenses, such as sexual assault or aggravated sexual abuse. They will tell you all you need to know about your charges, lay down your options, and help you avoid saying or doing things that will hurt your case, such as resisting arrest or blaming others.
In other words, the secret to getting your name in the clear, once again, is a reputable state and federal sex crimes lawyer. So, after you’re investigated and/or charged, make sure you get yourself the most reputable sex offender lawyers you can find in Michigan.
Brace Yourself Financially
We know this is the last thing you want to hear, but things will become pretty expensive when you’re charged with a sexual assault or sexual abuse crime. Even if you are innocent, the probability of a conviction is not entirely out of the picture.
The right sexual assault lawyer is going to cost you/your loved ones quite a bit of money. With that said, this is not the time to look for the cheapest price tag. To prove your innocence, you may need to pay for special tests, such as polygraphs, and have qualified experts testify.
Although all of this may be an unexpected blow to your finances, if you’re not prepared with the right sex crimes attorney, your finances will not matter, because you will be in prison.
Work Towards Clearing Your Name Today
Untrue sexual assault accusations can be due to a messy divorce, custody battles, relationship issues, and many other disputes you may have going on in your life. Unfortunately, as discussed earlier, such allegations tend to impact your life negatively. They tarnish your reputation and, even worse, may cause you to lose your job.
So, when you’re charged with a criminal sexual conduct or sexual acts offense, the first thing you should do is seek legal counsel from a reputable sex crimes attorney. While you can always go to any criminal defense lawyer, an attorney that focuses solely on criminal sexual conduct cases, like state and federal sex crimes lawyer Nicole Blank Becker, is in a much better position to help you clear your name.
Nicole has over 20 years of experience and has tried thousands of jury trials during that time. Not to mention, her previous role as the Chief of the Sex Unit gives her a leg up on most sex crimes attorneys when it comes to handling any sex crime case, no matter the sexual nature.
Nicole also prides herself on creating an attorney-client relationship that is unwavering and completely transparent, which will surely put your mind at ease during these stressful times.
Contact attorney Nicole Blank Becker with Blank Law Firm by calling (248) 515-6583 for your free consultation.