Sex Crime Charges: Is My Life Over?
All criminal charges invoke fear in suspects, but none do it like sex crimes offenses. Due to the social stigma and negative impact it brings, the mere thought of being accused of sex crimes 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 Sex Crimes Charge Mean Your Life is Over?
The short answer to that is no. As we’ll discuss later, sure, being charged with a 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 doesn’t make you guilty. It means law enforcement officers believe that they 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 you did an act relating to sex crimes to them, without their consent or due to their age. That is enough for the police to initiate an investigation about the said sex crimes charges. A person’s words, accusations, is all that is needed for the state to then initiate proceedings against you in a court of law. But remember, you are not yet guilty until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you indeed committed the sex crimes offense. In other words, unless proven guilty, the charges are an accusation at best.
The Consequences of a Sex Crime Charge?
Sex crimes charges in Michigan do not mean you are guilty. Unfortunately, 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 case like sex crimes, most people often perceive you as innocent until proven guilty. But, due to the stigma that CSC cases attract, when you’re charged with a CSC sex offense, the public perceives you as guilty until proven innocent. So, in a way, such charges will negatively impact your life.
Here is how:
Negative Social Perception
There’s a lot of stigma that comes with sex crimes charges. Even if you’re innocent or let’s say a victim of wrong accusation, 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. That 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 globally. Thanks to this, nobody usually wants to be associated with anyone who has been accused of such a crime. That means there’s always a high chance of losing your job after being investigated/charged with CSC charges.
Most employers often feel that the accused is not fit for their company and will figure out a way to fire you making you 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 sex offenders at the sex offender registration. That is because an arrest means you are being charged and it may appear on your criminal record as an arrest without conviction when an employer performs a background check. What’s worse is that this extends to your housing options as well.
Sex Crime Charge
I’ve Been Charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan, Now What?
A CSC case can mean jail or prison, and eventually, your name is permanently imprinted in the sex offender registry or sex offender registration. The good news is that you don’t have to wait for any of those things to occur and become a victim of wrong accusations. Here’s what you can do after you are charged with a sexual assault 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 category) into First, Second, Third and Fourth degree for clarity. For instance, CSC in the first degree is considered the most severe of all sexual offenses. If convicted, 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.
While CSC in the fourth degree cases 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, the first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with your charges 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 CSC case, the police 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 CSC. 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 sex crimes attorney. So, after you’re investigated and/or charged, make sure you get yourself the most reputable one 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 CSC crime. Although you’re innocent, the probability of a conviction is not entirely out of the picture.
The right lawyer is going to cost you/your loved ones quite a bit of money. 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 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 jail.
Work towards Clearing Your Name Today
Untrue CSC 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 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 Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is in a much better position to help you clear your name.