You’ve probably heard the term “statutory rape” before – most people have. The term refers to sex acts between people that were consensual when they happened (which makes it different from rape) but one or both of the parties involved was too young to legally give consent. In short, it’s sex with an underage person.
However, if you live here in Michigan, you might not know that we no longer use this term to refer to consensual sex between underage people. Instead we now use the term ‘criminal sexual conduct’ to refer to many types of illegal sex acts, with degrees assigned to each type of act, depending on the severity. ‘Statutory rape’ is defined as third degree criminal sexual conduct in Michigan.
What happens if you’re accused of statutory rape in Michigan?
Being accused of statutory rape in Michigan means you’re being accused of having consensual sex with an underage person. But under Michigan law, minors and mentally handicapped people are not considered able to give informed consent to sex acts. Only when a person reaches 16 years of age are they legally able to consent to sex acts according to the law in Michigan. (There are many other categories and classes of people that cannot legally consent to a sexual relationship. Some examples include inmates, people that are severely intoxicated, students and so on.)
So the person you had sex with may have agreed to that with you. They may even have enjoyed it, and didn’t regret the choice afterwards. However, the law says they were too young to give their consent. So their consent didn’t count under Michigan law, and you can still be charged with a sex crime.
What does it mean if you’re charged with third degree CSC?
Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct refers to sexual penetration (which could mean intercourse, oral or anal sex, or even digital penetration) with a child under the age of 16, but over the age of 13. If the person you had consensual sex with was younger than 13, you will likely be charged with First Degree CSC, which is even more serious!
Third degree CSC is a very serious crime under Michigan law. And while the punishments often depend on the type of sexual conduct, and the age of the victim, anyone convicted of this crime is facing up to 15 years in prison, and a very long time as a registered sex offender after their release. As you can see, it’s a really big deal!
The lawyer you choose makes a big difference to your case!
Join us next time for a look at some of the strategies your attorney might use to fight the statutory rape charge you’re facing. Until then, don’t forget – the lawyer you choose to fight your sex crime case makes all the difference to your future. An inexperienced or timid defense attorney can end up costing you your entire future! Defending rape cases takes many years of experience.
Here at The Kronzek Firm, our skilled criminal defense team has decades of experience fighting sex crime charges. We understand the complexities of sex crime law in Michigan, and can help you build a defense. So don’t wait, and don’t make the wrong choice. Call us at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail) today and make sure you’re properly defended against statutory rape charges.