What Happens When Someone is Charged with Sexual Assault?
Sexual violence is prevalent in many countries around the world. For instance, the United States records approximately 463,000 sexual assault incidents each year, and someone is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds. It is a very serious crime that typically carries harsh charges and punishments across the globe.
Being accused of sexual assault can be horrifying and overwhelming, especially because there could be major repercussions. Your life can change permanently if you are convicted of sexual assault, particularly in this age where a person’s criminal history is readily accessible and can be used as a tool of victimization. Therefore, you must respond to claims of sexual assault promptly.
You need a seasoned lawyer on your side if you want to defeat the charges against you. Top sexual assault lawyer Nicole Blank Becker has handled numerous sexual assault cases successfully over the years. You can trust her to help you build a solid criminal sexual conduct defense in any case involving sexual assault.
What Happens When Someone is Charged with Sexual Assault?
If someone claims you have sexually assaulted them, they must first file an initial report with law enforcement authorities. After a thorough sexual assault investigation, law enforcement would decide if they have gathered sufficient evidence to press charges against you. If they decide to press charges, you would be prosecuted in court and be required to put up a defense.
You need legal representation if you are being investigated for sexual assault in Michigan. Sex crime cases are complicated, so you need legal assistance if you want to defeat the charges against you. The alleged victim may also file a civil claim to recover damages for emotional distress, costs of medical attention, or physical harm. Thus, it would be best if you work with a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling sex crimes cases. Your lawyer can advise and coach you on what to expect and how to handle the case before you.
Blank Law, PC is a law firm that specializes in handling sex crime cases in Michigan. Our services extend to clients in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and all over the lower peninsula in Michigan. We are dedicated to helping our clients create aggressive sexual assault defense strategies to defeat sexual assault claims. We are always eager to assist you to obtain the best outcome in your case.
How Can You Tell if a Sexual Act with Someone Else Would Be Seen as Sexual Assault?
Sexual violence is a broad term for sexual behaviors and acts and behaviors. Terms like sexual battery, molestation, sexual abuse, and sexual assault are frequently used to refer to sex offenses. As a result, it could be challenging to identify what kind of sexual conduct amounts to sexual assault under Michigan law.
Sexual assault encompasses non-consensual acts involving sexual contact or sexual penetration with someone else for sexual pleasure. It could be done by a stranger or someone you know, or even a close family member, such as a spouse. Sexual violence occurs anywhere and at any time. It could be perpetrated using force, the threat of coercion, or manipulation. It could also occur without physical contact.
All forms of sexual assault are regarded as criminal sexual conduct (CSC) in Michigan. There are 4 degrees of CSC.There are criminal sexual conduct 1st degree and criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree crimes, which involve sexual penetration with victims being a person under 13 or a person 13 thru 15 years old. Unwanted sexual contact-related sex crimes fall under the criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree and criminal sexual conduct 4th degree crimes.
● Attempted rape and rape
● Having oral sex with another person without the person’s consent
● Touching someone inappropriately for sexual pleasure or offensive touching
● Compelling another person to engage in sexual activity with you
● Engaging in unwelcome sexual contact with a person who is:
○ Unconscious and, as a result, unable to consent
○ Impaired intellectually or physically
○ Impaired as a result of using drugs or alcohol
○ 13 to 15 years old
Why Should You Consult with a Sex Crime Defense Lawyer to Avoid Being Convicted of a Sexual Assault or Rape Charge?
Scorn, retaliation, or miscommunication between the parties are just a few of the reasons why people accuse others of sex crimes. Whatever the situation, you must immediately contact a sex crimes defense lawyer if you have any reason to believe that you will be accused of sexual assault in Michigan.
You do not have to wait to get a criminal sexual conduct attorney until a police officer shows up at your house to arrest you for sexual assault. The sooner you retain legal counsel, the sooner you may begin developing your defense plan. Hiring a CSC defense attorney can increase your chances of disproving sexual assault charges.
If you are charged with a sex crime, you must first consult a rape defense attorney before you interact with law enforcement officers or take any other severe measures. You must be careful how you interact with anyone involved in the case since anything you say or do could be used against you as evidence. You will not be penalized for declining to speak with law enforcement during an investigation until you have spoken with your attorney.
At Blank Law, PC, a top criminal defense law firm in Michigan, our sexual assault lawyers work closely with all our clients to ensure a successful outcome at trial. We are committed to effectively representing criminal defendants so that they have a greater chance of beating the sex crime charges. Get in touch with us if you have been charged with sexual assault. Once we establish an attorney-client relationship, we can help you defeat the charges.
What Kind of Punishment Would Be Imposed if the Court Finds You Guilty of Sexual Assault or Sexual Abuse?
Sexual assault is a very serious charge under Michigan law. The penalty for sexual assault includes a prison sentence ranging from a term of one year to life imprisonment, depending on the severity of the sexual offense. You would also be required to register with on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. The duration of registration also depends on the sex offender tier levels classification of the offense. Tier 1 sex offenders are required to register for 10 years. Tier 2 sex offenders must register for 25 years, while Tier 3 sex offenders register for life.
A sex offender registration can permanently tarnish your reputation. It can also make you vulnerable to victimization. A sexual assault charge can also affect your finances, chances of gaining employment, and fitting into society. If you are an immigrant living in the United States, your visa may be revoked and you may be prevented from a renewal. You may even face deportation. If you are a doctor, lawyer, nurse, teacher, or any other licensed professional, you risk losing your ability to practice.
The CSC 1st degree Michigan penalty includes mandatory minimum sentencing of 25 years, or even a life sentence and probation. The CSC 2nd degree Michigan penalty is imprisonment in the Department of Corrections for up to 15 years. You may also be subjected to Michigan lifetime electronic monitoring.
The CSC 3rd degree Michigan penalty is a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentencing of one year in prison. The CSC 4th degree Michigan penalty is a prison sentence of up to two years, a $500 fine, or both.
What are the Potential Legal Defenses to Help Me Avoid a Conviction and Prove My Innocence in a Sexual Assault Case?
You need to build an aggressive criminal defense if you have been accused of sexual violence. The prosecution must establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be convicted. However, the court gives you room to defend yourself with the assistance of a defense attorney. Technically, you do not need to prove your innocence. What you should do is cast significant doubt on the strength of the prosecution’s case. You can avoid a sexual assault conviction if you are successful.
If you or your loved one is falsely accused of CSC, there are several potential legal defenses available to you. Proving that the alleged victim consented is a valid legal defense. Generally, law enforcement officers are unconcerned with consensual sexual acts between adults. Therefore, it will not amount to sexual violence if the victim consented to the sexual activity. So, if you can establish that the sexual act was consensual, it could serve as a legal defense against the allegations.
However, law enforcement authorities would be involved if the victim is below 16, which is the legal age of consent in Michigan. A minor under 16 cannot give consent under the law, so you cannot plead consent as a defense. In addition, if the victim is a mentally or physically incapacitated adult, even if consent is given, it would be considered invalid. Consent is only accepted as a valid legal defense when the victim is a physically and mentally sound adult.
Also, mistaken identity could serve as another acceptable defense. During a police investigation, DNA evidence could be mishandled, leading to a case of mistaken identity. Some victims also wrongly identify their perpetrators because of alcohol or drug use.
Furthermore, if there were people who witnessed the alleged act, they could testify to support your case. Their testimonies are a valid legal defense to the sexual assault charges against you. In some cases, you may be able to call a character witness to testify about your character to establish that you are not in the habit of committing sexual violence.
In addition, if someone falsely claims that you sexually assaulted them, you may have a valid defense if you were not at the alleged crime scene. If you can provide sufficient evidence of your alibi to law enforcement officers, it could exonerate you from being falsely accused.
The defenses mentioned above are not exhaustive. You should create an attorney-client relationship with a Michigan criminal sexual conduct attorney who can advise you on the best legal defenses in your sexual assault case.
Finally, in certain circumstances, you might be able to negotiate a plea bargain. It entails you pleading guilty to the alleged crime. A plea bargain is used to obtain a sentence reduction. You will not escape the penalty of the crime, but you might receive a reduced term. Your lawyer will let you know if it is the best course of action in your sexual assault case.
Contact Top Criminal Defense Lawyer Nicole Blank Becker to Fight a Sexual Assault Charge in Michigan
Sex offenses are severe, and they attract harsh penalties. The consequences of being convicted of a sex crime can adversely affect your life for a long time. You may be incarcerated, fined, or placed on extended probation. You may also be subjected to sex offender registration and lifelong electronic monitoring. Some other consequences include being denied gainful housing or employment opportunities.
Therefore, if you face sexual assault charges, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is an experienced sex crime defense attorney who has provided legal representation to clients in several sexual assault cases. She can help you understand the workings of the criminal justice system and advise you on the available legal defenses.
Once you initiate an attorney-client relationship with her, Nicole and her legal team of sexual abuse lawyers will work tirelessly to increase your chances of defeating the criminal charges against you. Her experience as a former sex crime prosecutor provides a unique advantage in helping you build the best sexual assault defense strategies. Contact our law firm at (248) 515-6583 for a Michigan criminal defense attorney free consultation.