In Michigan, criminal sexual conduct (CSC) is a catch-all phrase for a wide range of sexual assault crimes. When someone is arrested for a crime such as rape, statutory rape or child molestation, the actual charge will be criminal sexual conduct. There are four degrees of criminal sexual conduct or CSC.
Prosecutors in Michigan are under considerable pressure to pursue charges in child molestation cases, even when there is no physical evidence. Jurors also seem to require a lower threshold of proof to convict someone of a child sex crime. If you are convicted, you face a lengthy prison sentence, loss of your family, and registration as a sex offender. Since the cards are stacked against you, its important to have the best legal defense. The right attorney is critical. This holds true whether you are in rural Tuscola County or a more urban area such as Montcalm County.
Its rare to pick up a newspaper and not read about another sting involving law enforcement officers posing as children in chat rooms. If you have been caught up in such a sting, the charges need to be taken very seriously. Speak with our defense team before talking to the police.
In many Michigan child pornography investigations, police will obtain a search warrant and seize your personal computer. The computer will then be sent to the Michigan State Police crime lab to have the hard drive examined. If child porn images show up on your computer, they can form the basis for a criminal charge. Even images that were inadvertently downloaded and subsequently deleted from your hard drive can be recovered by computer forensic examiners and used to charge you with a crime. Our team of experienced defense lawyers utilizes forensic computer experts whenever appropriate to defend our clients.
Rape charges often involve testimony from the victim as well as testimony from doctors and other experts. Some of this evidence is reliable and some of it is not. In our experience, many rape charges involve he said, she said evidence. To protect yourself from drastic consequences, you will need an experienced lawyer who can challenge the states evidence and cross-examine witnesses aggressively to uncover inconsistencies.
Misdemeanor sex crimes such as gross indecency or lewd conduct can have extremely serious consequences in Michigan. Even if you receive no prison time, a sex crime conviction can lead to social stigma, the loss of your job, and the loss of your family. In some cases, you could even be subject to sex offender registration.
As bad as prison is, the implications of sex offender registration for many people who are considered sexual predators can be the worst consequence of a sex crime conviction. People on the registry find their lives have become a living hell. Their children are harassed at school, their wives receive threatening letters, and their privacy is invaded by drive-bys. You need a savvy, experienced defense attorney to help keep you off the registry if at all possible.
In addition to criminal penalties, any parent who has been arrested for a sex crime in Michigan faces the possible loss of his or her parental rights. Even if you are acquitted of criminal charges or your case is dismissed, your children could still become wards of the state as the result of a civil action brought by Michigan Child Protective Services (CPS). Termination of parental rights is still a possibility even when you have been acquitted of criminal charges.
In some cases, juveniles who commit sex crimes will be placed on the sex offender registry. Whether or not this occurs depends on certain factors, such as the juvenile’s age at the time of the sex offense and what crime was committed. Few parents contemplate that their children can be penalized for decades for something they did as a juvenile. By trusting the juvenile justice system, you may be sacrificing your child’s future. By enlisting our defense attorneys, you can feel secure in knowing that they will fight hard to protect your child’s future.
Several sex offenses that are illegal under Michigan law are also illegal under Federal law. Since the penalties are harsher in federal court and the rules of discovery are less favorable for defendants, it is not uncommon to see local police shift sex crime cases to federal prosecution. This is especially common in with Internet sex crimes and child pornography cases. Never discuss any portion of your case without having an experienced attorney present.
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