What is a Third Degree Sex Offender?
In Michigan, criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree is considered a serious crime. It is commonly called statutory rape (see: what is statutory rape?). This is a crime that involves sexual intercourse or sexual contact with an individual who is under 16. This charge also applies to traditional cases of rape. Rape is a type of sex crime that involves non-consensual sex, such as sexual assault or sexual activity by force or coercion.
If you are facing a third degree criminal sexual conduct charge, it is recommended that you hire an experienced criminal sexual conduct attorney immediately. The potential penalties for any sex crimes in Michigan are severe. Without a strong criminal sexual conduct defense, you may be convicted and face serious penalties, including the requirement to be listed on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.
If you are arrested for and charged with any sex crimes, be sure to exercise your right to remain silent. Never talk to the police before, during, or after you are arrested. Besides scientific or physical evidence of what happened, there is nothing more damaging to a criminal case than what you say. Remember, the police have been trained to get you to talk. Do not be lured into a false sense of security since this may result in you saying something that can be used against you to convict you of CSC 3rd degree. Learn what happens if you don’t talk to a detective here.
Potential Consequences for Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
According to Michigan state law, if you are convicted of a criminal sexual conduct charge in the thrid degree, you can face a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in jail (see: CSC 3rd degree Michigan penalty). The sentence may be more if you have a prior felony conviction. For example, if convicted of this charge, habitual offenders may face life in prison.
Additionally, you will be added to the public sex offender registry for life (with one exception) starting when you are released from jail.
You will be sentenced to jail or state prison when convicted of sexual abuse 3rd degree. The Michigan Sentencing Guidelines determine the specific term of your jail time. These guidelines factor in your criminal past and the circumstances surrounding the current sexual assault or rape charges.
Based on these guidelines, this charge is considered a “Class B” crime against the alleged victim. This means you will face a guaranteed extended jail sentence if convicted.
While this can all be scary and overwhelming, it is important to stay positive when facing sex crime charges. Rather than focusing on what may happen and what consequences may apply to your situation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The right attorney will develop strong sexual assault defense strategies to help you overcome these charges or have them reduced and the potential consequences you face minimized.
Third Degree Sex Offender
Charges of third degree sexual contact involve sexual activity with a minor who is over 13 (see: 3rd degree sexual abuse of a minor) or with someone who is physically helpless or has some type of disability.
Some of the situations where you can face third degree criminal sexual conduct charges in Michigan include the following:
- The sexual penetration of a person 13 thru 15 years old
- The sexual penetration of someone that occurs due to coercion or force
- The sexual penetration of someone you know to be physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or have another disability
- The sexual penetration of another person who is related to the offender to the fourth degree who is not your legal spouse
- The sexual penetration of a student between the ages of 16 and 18 while you are working for the school district as a teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator unless the student is your spouse or emancipated (see: teacher sexual misconduct)
- The sexual penetration of a student between the ages of 16 and 18 while you are working for the school district and utilized this position to develop a relationship with the alleged victim with the end goal of engaging in some type of sexual act (i.e., oral sex, sexual intercourse, and other types of sexual contact)
- The sexual penetration of a special education student between the ages of 16 and 26 when you are working for the school district as a teacher, substitute teacher, or an administrator, unless the alleged victim is your spouse
- The sexual penetration of any minor who is 16 years old or more in a foster family home or facility where you worked in some capacity and the minor was a resident
What is Considered Sexual Penetration in a Third Degree Sexual Conduct Charge?
So, what is sexual penetration? In the state of Michigan, the specific meaning of the term “sexual penetration” is the following:
- The entry into the anal opening or genital opening by any body part of the person accused of the crime. This includes the finger, tongue, penis, or another object. All cases of entry, even if they are slight, are enough to qualify for this charge. It does not matter if the sexual act was “finished” or if semen was ejaculated.
- The entry into the mouth of the alleged victim by the accused party’s penis. Again, the act does not have to be “finished,” nor must semen be ejaculated to face these charges.
- Touching the alleged victim’s genital organs or openings with the accused party’s tongue or mouth.
Important Note: While the main characteristic of third degree criminal sexual conduct charges is when sexual penetration occurs, you may face these charges and be convicted for things that are not considered penetration.
How Do Coercion and Force Apply to Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges?
In cases of third degree criminal sexual conduct charges in Michigan, force and coercion include the following circumstances:
- When the defendant overcomes the victim through physical violence or force
- When the sex offender coerces the alleged victim to submit to their will by threatening to use force or violence against them, and the victim believes the offender can do this
- When the sex offender coerces the alleged victim to submit to their will through retaliation threats against the individual or someone the victim believes they could harm; here retaliation includes the threats of serious physical injury, extortion, or kidnapping
- Situations where the sex offender engages in a medical exam or treatment of an alleged victim for a purpose that is considered unacceptable or unethical
- If the sex offender uses complement or surprise to overtake the sexual assault victim
The seriousness of a third degree criminal sexual conduct charge is something that can not be understated. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to utilize the services of an experienced CSC defense attorney and develop an attorney–client relationship as early in the process as possible. The first step in this process is to contact an attorney and schedule a free consultation. A person convicted of this crime faces serious penalties, which is why it is so important to have a strong defense against any sex crimes.
Understanding the Sex Offenders Registration Act in the State of Michigan
Third degree sexual conduct charges are a Tier 3 sex offender offense in Michigan. Being convicted of a third degree criminal sexual conduct charge will result in a criminal record for the rest of your life. Along with jail time and fines, you will be required to register for the public sex offender registry in Michigan for the rest of your life.
Sex offenders on this list are those who have been convicted of egregious sex crimes, including those that cause serious physical injury, involve someone who is physically helpless or mentally incapacitated, and that is orchestrated by someone in “power,” like a teacher or substitute teacher (see: positions of authority).
As mentioned above, there is an exception to the sex offender registration law. This includes a person who is charged with 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct after July 1, 2011 (which obviously applies to all new cases). In these situations, if the victim consented to the sexual act and was between 13 and 16 years old, while the person charged was no more than four years older than them, then the person convicted will not have to join the other sex offenders on the public registry. This is part of the Romeo and Juliet Law in the state of Michigan (see: can criminal sexual abuse happen between two minors?).
After being convicted of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct due to sexual assault or other sex crimes, you must sign paperwork within a few days of the conviction while being interviewed by someone from the Michigan Department of Corrections.
On the date of this meeting, you will be officially registered as a sex offender in the state of Michigan. This is something that remains in place for the remainder of your life.
An issue related to being on this registry is that it is public. It means that anyone can go on the Michigan State Police website to find out if they have been convicted of any sex crime. It is possible to search those on the list by name or based on a certain area.
Also, after registering as a sex offender for a criminal sexual conduct conviction, you will be restricted from where you can live, work, or spend time.
Another stipulation of being on this list is that you must verify or report four times per year. It is required that you let the set law enforcement agency know about any of the following actions or changes in your life, which include the following:
- Change your address
- Change your name
- Change where you work (including the reason why this is changing)
- Enroll in school or discontinue enrollment in school
- Intend to reside in a new location besides your main residence for over seven days
- Purchase or drive a different vehicle regularly or if you stop driving a vehicle (this includes selling or transferring it to another person)
- Create an instant messaging or email address for posting or communicating for any reason
You may face additional criminal charges if you do not comply with these stipulations. Learn if failure to register as a sex offender is a felony here.
Do Not Wait to Hire an Experienced Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney for Help with Your Sex Crime Charges
As you can see, the penalties for a third degree criminal sexual conduct charge are severe. If you are charged with this crime, you must contact an experienced and reputable rape defense attorney and schedule a free consultation immediately.
Cases involving sex crimes often involve confidential and sensitive information that can be difficult to discuss. However, you must tell your attorney as much about the situation during your free consultation as possible.
Do you need legal services to help you create a strong defense against sex crime charges?
Contact Attorney Nicole Blank Becker and Blank Law, PC by calling the office at (248) 515-6583.
We take calls and emails 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With a reputation for successful outcomes for clients facing all types of criminal charges, you can count on our law firm to provide you with the effective and aggressive defense strategy you need. Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. The first step is to call or email and schedule a Michigan criminal defense attorney free consultation.