What is Sexual Abuse 4th Degree?
In the state of Michigan, fourth degree sexual conduct is a type of criminal sexual conduct that involves some type of unwanted sexual touching (see: what is offensive touching?). In many other states, the name of this type of crime is “indecent liberties.”
Usually, the offense involves some type of sexual contact with a person who is a minor or a person with a mental disability, or who is physically helpless (this includes sexual contact with an animal or dead body). Cases of fourth degree sexual assault also apply to situations where you use your relationship with someone to engage in sexual contact. Examples include a mental health professional and their patient or a school district employee and a student.
What is Sexual Abuse 4th Degree?
If you are convicted of a fourth degree sexual contact, it is charged as a serious misdemeanor sex crime.
The potential consequences for a conviction in Michigan include:
- A prison sentence of up to two years
- Fines of up to $500
- Having a permanent criminal record as a Michigan sex offender (this can impact your ability to get or keep your job)
- Restrictions related to where you can work or live due to your status as a sexual offender
- The requirement to register as a sex offender on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry and have your name and information available to the public
- Potential denial or loss of professional license (this is a matter handled by the local or regional board that holds your license)
- Impact on the custody of your children
- Impact on your immigration status
Any type of criminal sexual conduct charge, including criminal sexual conduct 4th degree, is considered serious legal matter. Sex crimes are taken seriously in the state and, as a result, come with significant penalties if convicted. Due to the potential penalties, you may face, it is recommended that you schedule a free initial consultation with a Michigan criminal sexual conduct attorney who specializes in sex crime charges right away. They need to understand the nature of your sexual assault charges to help build sexual assault defense strategies for your case.
It is worth noting that a ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court has made it possible for judges over sex crime cases to use their supervisory or disciplinary authority to determine a penalty that better suits the criminal sexual conduct you are charged with. To know what type of penalties you may face when charged with fourth degree sexual assault (or another type of sexual assault charge), you should speak to an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer. Also see CSC 4th degree Michigan penalty to learn more.
Actions That May Result in Fourth Degree Sexual Assault Charges
There are multiple situations where sexual contact with an alleged victim may result in 4th degree sexual assault misdemeanor charges.
Some of these situations include:
- If you engage in some type of sexual contact with a teen who is 13 to 16 years of age when you are at least five years older than them
- The use of force or coercion to engage in sexual contact or sexual penetration; this includes using violence or physical force, threatening violence or force, or threatening them with retaliation in a situation where the alleged victim believes you will follow through on your threats; it also includes situations where sexual contact occurs in a medical setting without a bona fide medical purpose
- Engaging in sexual contact with a person you know is mentally or physically disabled or emotionally dependent on another person for care
- Engaging in sexual contact with a person who is related to you by the third degree unless you are legally married
- Engaging in any type of sexual contact with a patient or client (who is not your spouse) as a mental health provider and under two years have passed since you treated the person in question
- If you have some type of sexual contact with a student who is 16 to 18 years of age when you hold a position as a teacher, school administrator, or substitute teacher (see: teacher sexual misconduct)
- Situations where you are engaging in sexual contact with a student who is 16 to 18 years of age as a school district employee or volunteer
- Engaging in sexual actions or unwanted sexual contact with someone 16 to 26 years of age as a government service provider or volunteer
Viable Options for Defending Fourth Degree Sexual Assault Charges
It does not matter if you face misdemeanor charges or a Class D felony; you need a viable defense to help you fight them. A criminal defense attorney will help you build this defense.
Cases of criminal sexual conduct, including fourth degree sexual assault, are often full of emotions. They often come down to your word against the alleged victim. If you are accused of sexual assault against another person, a conviction can impact your life in many ways. You may believe that if sexual contact occurs with someone, there is no way you will face criminal charges; unfortunately, this is not always the case.
A reputable and qualified criminal defense attorney can help build a defense, whether you are facing a Class D felony or another charge. They will fight aggressively for your rights to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for the situation.
It is important to understand that most allegations of sexual assault and other sex crimes involve competing versions of events and various nuances. In many cases, there are inconsistencies or holes in the prosecutors’ story. Hiring a Michigan CSC defense attorney means you have someone to find the inconsistencies and ensure the facts and evidence that support your story are shown during your trial. When you have the help of a legal professional, you will have an increased likelihood of having the CSC 4th degree charges against you dismissed or reduced.
Do Not Wait to Contact an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney
It is easy to put off looking into legal defense options when you are facing sex crime charges. While this is true, it is not recommended. The longer you wait to find quality legal representation, the harder it will be to build a solid defense for your case. Learn what to look for in a criminal defense lawyer here.
If you need help with sex crime charges, contact Blank Law, PC today. Female criminal defense attorney Nicole Blank Becker has decades of experience working in the Michigan legal system. This experience can be leveraged for your benefit when facing sex crime charges.
You can schedule a free initial consultation by calling or texting (248) 515-6583 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The longer your rape defense attorney has to gather evidence and work on your case, the better potential outcome they will be able to achieve. Call today with any questions or concerns you may have.