Criminal Sexual Conduct Third Degree Attorneys in Michigan

Facing a false accusation of rape is one of the worst things a person can go through in their life. There are over 3,000 reported incidences of criminal sexual conduct third degree in Michigan every year. Many of these are false accusations fabricated because of a failed relationship, revenge, financial motivation, or as part of a child custody strategy. If you are being charged with criminal sexual conduct third degree you could face up to 15 years in prison, so it is essential to work with an experienced, aggressive CSC defense attorney.

No matter what the circumstances are surrounding your accusation, if you or someone you know has been accused of a sex crime in Michigan that may amount to a charge for criminal sexual conduct third degree or criminal sexual conduct first degree, then you are going to have to defend yourselves. Some attorneys hold themselves out as criminal defense attorneys, but very few have the experience and expertise our lawyers have defending criminal sexual conduct third degree cases in Michigan.

If charges have yet to be filed but someone has accused you of a sex crime, then the best time to act is now. Our first order of business is to work with the prosecutor and use charges from ever being filed or to have them dropped. This is the best outcome, because it keeps your record clean and avoids the unnecessary stress and hardship of a trial. However, if we have to go to trial then the goal is to win and to get all charges dismissed. We may also utilize pre-trial motions in limine for evidentiary issues to get charges dropped early. We have defended many criminal sexual conduct charges and we know what it takes to win.

Sexual Penetration

The act of sexual penetration is necessary for a prosecutor to make their case, and there is a rather formal definition that actually includes a list of behaviors that constitute sexual penetration. According to MCL 750.520a(r), sexual penetration means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person. The Court of Appeals has held this to include a hand or finger to penetrate a victim’s vagina or anal opening.

Sexual Intent

The Michigan Court of Appeals has specified that criminal sexual conduct third degree a crime of general intent. General intent only requires that you intended to do the act, and not that you intended to bring about a certain outcome. Therefore, the prosecutor has an easier job in proving this offense than other offenses that include specific intent. For example, intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving penetration is a specific intent crime. So, if a person goes into a closet with another person, and then the encounter was interrupted by a third person, the prosecutor would have to prove the first person had specifically intended to criminally penetrate the second person but for the interruption. Conversely, the general intent crime of criminal sexual conduct first degree, the prosecutor only needs to prove that the penetration actually happened. Therefore, we place a greater weight on the evidence, and disproving that a penetration occurred or that the other statutory circumstances are absent depending on the particular facts of a case.

The Prosecutor Must Prove for Criminal Sexual Conduct Third Degree

As was mentioned, sexual penetration is a necessary element for the prosecutor to prove a criminal sexual conduct third degree. However, sexual penetration without more evidence will be insufficient to prove a criminal sexual conduct third degree occurred. Sex is not a crime. One of the following situations must exist, and be proved beyond a reasonable doubt for the court to enter a conviction. There are many situations specifically described by MCL 750.520d, and we will review all of the major categories in turn.

If the other person is at least 13 years of age, and under 16 years of age, then there is the potential for a criminal sexual conduct third degree charge. Michigan uses the “birthdate rule” which means that the person does not reach a qualifying age until their birthdate; so, if a person was 12 years and 364 days old, then they would not qualify as 13 years of age. This is important, but if the other person was younger than 13 years of age the charge will be elevated to a criminal sexual conduct first degree.

Another circumstance that could qualify a person to be charged with criminal sexual conduct third degree is if the person knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or is physically helpless. Michigan uses the objective reasonable person standard, so if a reasonable person standing in the shoes of the person accused would have known the other person was mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, then a prosecutor could satisfy this requirement.

A separate qualification for a criminal sexual conduct third degree charge is if the other person is related by blood or affinity to the third degree to the other person. Michigan utilizes the rules of civil law when determining the degrees of consanguinity. First degree is parents and children, second degree is grandparents, brothers, and sisters, and third degree includes great-great-grandparents, great-uncles, grand-nieces, and first cousins. Additionally, affinity has been described by the courts as a relationship that originates through marriage. Therefore, this encompasses step-parents, step-brothers, and step-sisters. So, any of these relationships could result in a criminal sexual conduct third degree conviction if the prosecutor proves a penetration occurred.

This demonstrates why the evidentiary analysis and motion practice surrounding the preparation and execution of a criminal sexual conduct third degree charge is so crucial, because if you are accused of assaulting someone you are related to there is almost no argument you can make claiming that you are not in fact related to them.

Teacher or Affiliation with a School

Another way a prosecutor can attempt to prove criminal sexual conduct third degree is by demonstrating that the accused was a teacher or employed or working at a school where the other person was enrolled. These situations only apply if the other person was at least 16 years old, but less than 18 years old and enrolled at the same school where the teacher or administrator worked. Sometimes these situations develop, because a relationship grew between a teacher and a student. These cases are unique, because there is almost always a political and media component. Therefore, Grabel & Associates is sensitive to all aspects of these complicated cases. We work to uncover overlooked evidence and ulterior motives. It is necessary to have a team of attorneys who understand that your rights need to be protected, but also that you need your name cleared and your reputation restored. Our CSC 3rd Degree lawyers represent clients at every stage of the legal process including post-judgement relief. If you or someone you care about is facing charges for a sex crime involving criminal sexual conduct third degree, do not hesitate to contact us online or call us 24/7 at 1-800-883-2138 for a free consultation and begin crafting your legal defense strategy today.

Child Care, Foster Care, and Special Education

These situations all deal with a person in a position of authority. The provision of MCL 750.520d pertaining to special education is similar to the one about teachers and students. However, the age to qualify for this section of criminal sexual conduct third degree requires that the other person is at least 16 years but can be as old as 26 years of age. The accused could be a teacher, substitute teacher, a volunteer, or part of a state and local government that provides any type of service to the school. Similarly, a person licensed to operate a foster family or foster family group home who is involved in a penetration of a person at least 16 years of age may be charged with a criminal sexual conduct third degree. Finally, if the person who is accused is an employee, contractual service provider, or volunteer of a child care organization, then they could be charged with criminal sexual conduct third degree if they meet the qualifications listed in the statute.

Penalties for CSC 3rd Degree Convictions

These are very serious charges, and consequently, there are very serious penalties. criminal sexual conduct third degree is a felony in Michigan, and the maximum penalty for a conviction is 15 years in prison. This is a stark difference from criminal sexual conduct first degree where there is a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison. However, there is no opportunity for probation after a conviction of criminal sexual conduct third degree. If you are convicted of criminal sexual conduct third degree, then you will have to register as a sex offender, and criminal sexual conduct third degree is a tier three offense listed offense under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). However, there is a statutory rape exception to sex offender registration. There are three requirements to meet the statutory rape exception to sex offender registration. The court must determine that the other person consented to the conduct, was at least 13 but under 16 years of age, and the person convicted cannot be more than four years older than the other person.

Specific Defense for Criminal Sexual Conduct Third Degree Charges

The specific defense that we assemble for your case will depend on what stage in the legal process you are in and the facts and testimony that are available. If you have a suspicion that charges are coming, then we will work preemptively with the prosecutor to prevent charges from ever being filed to protect your record. If we need to file pre-trial motions to suppress the prosecution’s evidence because it is prejudicial or unreliable, then he or she may not have enough of a case to move forward. If charges have already been filed, we will work with you to develop the best trial defense strategy available. We will sift through all of the evidence and look for the strengths to bolster your position. We will identify the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and examine the insufficiency of the prosecutor’s evidence to meet his or her burden beyond a reasonable doubt. Consequently, we will do everything we can to win at trial and clear your name.

If you have been wrongly accused of criminal sexual conduct third degree or a related sex crime, then it may feel like your world is crashing down. There is an overwhelming amount of information, and it may seem like the world is against you. The good news is that there are many options still available, you have a right to a fair trial and you deserve the best legal defense available.

Grabel & Associates understands the precarious and delicate nature of defending against sex crimes like criminal sexual conduct first degree and criminal sexual conduct third degree. There is a lot more at stake than just a person’s freedom. This is about your reputation, your name, and being able to walk down the street with your head held high. If you have been wrongly accused, you need an attorney who has been down this road before. Our law firm is the premier sex crime defense team in the state of Michigan. We have a proven track record of success defending against criminal sexual conduct. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

Client Reviews

★★★★★
Great lawyer he went into court and ripped the girl trying to lie on me a new one. He fot me off on all charges and with out him i would be in prision. Thank you so much i will definitely keep your number and pass it on to any one in trouble and keep it for future incase i ever have to go back to court K. J.
★★★★★
Just starting the case. Scott Grabel is a very down to earth kind of guy. He doesn't rush you and answers your questions very thoroughly. Scott and Tim Doman return calls quickly. We're still early but I will post an update throughout our process. D. J.
★★★★★
Great job Tim, Scott, Daniel very aggressive and knowledgeable They always call you back if you have questions even after hours the best outcome I could've hoped for thanks again R. E.