What is the Definition of "Personal Injury" in the Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Laws?

Personal InjuryAs a Michigan Sex Crimes Defense Attorney, every day we are defending those accused of violating the Michigan Sex Crimes laws. Michigan's Sex Crime laws do not use words like "rape" or "assault" anymore. Instead, these basic offenses are classified into four "degrees" of what is known as Criminal Sexual Conduct, or CSC for short. Whether an act of alleged sexual penetration or sexual contact can be classified as 1st degree CSC, 2nd degree CSC, 3rd degree CSC or 4th degree CSC depends on which of many "multiple variables" apply to the facts of each particular case. In the case of 1st degree CSC (involving sexual penetration) and 2nd degree CSC (involving sexual contact), one of the multiple variables is when the act causes the alleged victim to suffer a "personal injury." If you or someone you love is facing a Michigan CSC charge where "personal injury" is alleged, you'll need to know exactly how "personal injury" is defined in the law. The legal definition of "personal injury" is very specific, and it is much different than the common-sense definition of that term. Under the Michigan CSC laws, "personal injury" means "bodily injury, disfigurement, chronic pain, pregnancy, disease, loss or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ, or mental anguish. Mental anguish means extreme pain, extreme distress, or extreme suffering, either at the time of the event or later as a result of it." Some of those words need even further definition under the law. For example, as for "bodily injury," it is important to know that it need not be permanent or substantial. Slapping, punching, or strangling are enough to satisfy the bodily injury definition under the Michigan CSC 1 and CSC 2 laws. Further, the accused person need not be the sole source of a complainant’s injuries. When it comes to "mental anguish," the Michigan Supreme Court has given a list of factors for jurors in CSC 1 and 2 cases to consider in deciding whether the alleged victim has suffered "mental anguish":
  • Was the alleged victim upset, crying, or hysterical during or after the event?
  • Did the alleged victim need psychological treatment?
  • Did the incident interfere with the alleged victim’s ability to work or lead a normal life?
  • Was the alleged victim afraid that he or she or someone else would be hurt or killed?
  • Did the alleged victim feel angry or humiliated?
  • Did the alleged victim need medication for anxiety, insomnia, or other symptoms?
  • Did the emotional effects of the incident last a long time?
  • Did the alleged victim feel scared afterward about the possibility of being attacked again?
  • Was the accused the alleged victim's parent?
These are not the only things a jury may think about. No single factor is necessary. The jurors will be instructed that they must think about all the facts and circumstances to decide whether the alleged victim suffered "mental anguish." When sexual contactoccurs where the accused uses "force or coercion" OR when the accused "knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless," AND it results in anything meeting the definition of "personal injury" to the alleged victim, that constitutes Second Degree CSC . The penalty for Second Degree CSC in Michigan is up to 15 yearsin State Prison and either25 years or LIFETIME on the pubic Michigan Sex Offender Registry.
RELATED: click here to learn about the crime of Assault With Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct Involving Sexual Penetration.
RELATED: click here to learn about the crime of Assault With Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree.
When sexual penetration occurs where the accused uses "force or coercion" OR when the accused "knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless," AND it results in anything meeting the definition of "personal injury" to the alleged victim, that constitutes First Degree CSC. The penalty for First Degree CSC in Michigan is up to LIFE in State Prison and your entire LIFETIME on the pubic Michigan Sex Offender Registry.
Truthfully, the only way to avoid a conviction for Criminal Sexual Conduct is to build a relationship with a Top-Ranked Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney. Brian J. Prain has been honored as part of the Nations Top 1-Percent by NADC, Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers in Michigan and Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40in Michigan by The National Trial Lawyers, Top 40 Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers Under 40 by NACDA, and one of the Premier 100 by AATA. Both Brian himself and Prain Law, PLLC have been honored by the AIOCLA with their Top 10 Award for Client Satisfaction. Brian can be seen in both Super Lawyers Magazine and HOUR DETROIT Magazine.
If you or someone you care about is facing a Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charge, contact The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC anytime at (248) 731-4543.
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