What Is Criminal Sexual Conduct?Dec 20, 2017, by Sex Crimes in
Criminal sexual conduct is how the Penal Code of Michigan refers to offenses such as sexual assault and statutory rape. It is a broad term that encompasses misdemeanor and felony offenses involving conduct of varying degrees of seriousness. If you get charged with criminal sexual conduct, this means a prosecutor has evidence that you had non-consensual sexual activity, or sexual activity with a person who could not legally provide consent because of age, handicap, or your position of authority.
Criminal sexual conduct carries with it the possibility of lengthy incarceration, crippling fines, and the devastation caused by having this sort of offense listed on your criminal record. For these reasons, it’s essential that you retain an experienced Detroit sex crime lawyer from Davis Law Group to defend you if you are facing this category of criminal charges.
Call us today at (313) 818-3238 for a free, confidential case consultation.
When Is Criminal Sexual Conduct a Misdemeanor?
Criminal sexual conduct of the fourth degree is a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in jail and up to $500 in fines. According to section 750.520e of the Michigan Penal Code, criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree occurs when you have sexual contact with another person, and any of the following apply:
- You are at least five years older than a sexual partner between the ages of 13 and 16
- You use physical violence or force against the other person to accomplish sexual contact
- You threaten the use of force
- You use blackmail or extortion
- You perform a medical examination or procedure in a deviant manner
- You achieve the sexual contact through concealment or surprise
- You know or should know that the other person is mentally disabled or physically helpless
- The other person is related to you by blood
- You are a mental healthcare professional and the other person has been your patient within the last two years
- You work at a school and the other person is a student between the ages of 16 and 18 (or 26 years of age for students in special education)
- You work at a residential child care facility or foster home and the other person is a resident above the age of 16
Sexual contact does not include actual sexual intercourse. Instead, sexual contact consists in intentional touching of intimate parts or the clothing covering those parts in a sexual way, or for the purpose of sexual arousal.
When Is Criminal Sexual Conduct a Felony?
Criminal sexual conduct of the first, second, and third degree are all felony offenses. If you engage in any of the prohibited acts listed in the definition of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct, but penetration occurs as opposed to just sexual contact, you can be charged with criminal sexual conduct of the third degree. Under Michigan law, penetration includes vaginal intercourse, anal sex, and oral sexual contact such as felacio or cunnlingus. Per Michigan Penal Code section 750.520d, this felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
According to Michigan Penal code section 750.520c, criminal sexual conduct in the second degree concerns acts of sexual contact – not penetration – that occur in the following circumstances:
- The sexual contact happens between you and a person under the age of 13
- The other person is between the ages of 13 and 16, and is your blood relative, a member of your household, or someone over whom you have authority because you are a teacher or school employee
- You engage in the sexual contact while you are committing another felony
- You have an accomplice, you use force, or you know the other person is mentally handicapped or physically helpless
- You are armed with a weapon or something that looks like a weapon
- You injure the other person while using force
- You injure the other person, and know that the person is mentally handicapped or physically helpless
- The other person is mentally handicapped or physically helpless, and is your relative or someone over whom you have authority
- You work for the Department of Corrections, and the other person is a prisoner
Second degree criminal sexual conduct is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If you are over 17 years old and the victim is less than 13, the court may sentence you to lifelong electronic monitoring.
The most serious category of this sexual offense, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, is defined in Michigan Penal Code 750.520b. This offense applies if you engage in sexual penetration and any of the following apply:
- The other person is under the age of 13
- The other person is between 13 and 16, and is related to you, is a member of your household, or is someone who is under your authority
- The penetration occurs during the commission of another felony
- Someone aids or abets the offense, and you use force or coercion, or know the victim is mentally handicapped or physically helpless
- You are armed with a weapon, or something the victim might reasonably believe is a weapon
- You injure the other person while using force or coercion
- You injure the other person, and that person is mentally handicapped or physically helpless
- The other person is physically helpless or mentally handicapped, and is your relative or under your authority
First degree criminal sexual conduct is punishable by up to life in prison. The minimum sentence for this offense is 25 years if you were 17 or older at the time of the offense, and the victim was less than 13 years old. If you have a prior conviction for sexual misconduct, the victim was less than 13 years old, and you were 18 or older at the time of the offense, you face a life sentence without possibility of parole.
Getting a Strong Defense to Charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct
At Davis Law Group, we fight vigorously to bring our clients’ cases to optimal resolutions. In the context of criminal sexual conduct cases, we focus on showing that clients had consent, or lacked knowledge that the alleged victim was legally unable to provide consent. Sexual assault cases are complex and emotional, but attorney Maurice Davis prides himself in rising to the challenge when the stakes are high.