Criminal Sexual Conduct - Choosing a Lawyer to Defend You

Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges (CSC for short) are some of the most serious criminal charges. As a result, just about any lawyer will gladly take your money and make certain "promises" to you. But that doesn't mean that they're a qualified Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney who truly knows the unique issues that will come up in your CSC case - and they truly are unique.

Michigan CSC cases are unlike any other type of criminal charge. A quick glance at our Criminal Sexual Conduct blog and the topics discussed there will convince you of that (such as DNA and scientific evidence, CSC forensic interviews like CARE House, multiple variables, Sex Offender Registration (SORA), expert witnesses, etc.). Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges are NOT the type of case where your average Criminal Defense Attorney who normally defends DUI, drug possession, and petty theft is going to pick-up the case, do what they normally do, and do an effective job.

RELATED: Will Criminal Sexual Conduct charges be dismissed if the alleged victim doesn't show-up?

If you're facing a Michigan CSC charge, your life and future are on the line. This is no DUI case. So when you're searching for the Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney who will hold your life and future in their hands, how will you know whether the Attorney you're talking with is the real deal and not just some DUI-guy willing to say whatever they need to say to get your money in their hands, only to let you down later in ways you can't recover from?

In order to help you separate the best from the rest, here's a list of the top 10 traits of a top Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney:

  • They don't use the word "victim" when referring to your accuser. They will only say "accuser," "complainant," or "alleged victim." This may seem trivial, but the word “victim“ implies that a crime has been committed. In this country, we are presumed innocent unless in until proven guilty beyond in to the exclusion of any and all reasonable doubts. Yes, the word “victim“ has become lazy vernacular because prosecutors and judges use it, but to any lawyer who is truly is going to start from a place of believing that you are innocent, this is offensive. A Michigan CSC Defense Lawyer who has seen the type of frivolous CSC chargers that prosecutors regularly bring here in Michigan would be offended by the use of the word “victim" without there being a conviction, and sometimes notwithstanding a conviction (however, we do not handle or advise on cases that have already concluded).
  • They are willing to invest a little time and speak to you before asking for any money. A lawyer who is passionate about defending those accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct will be grateful to receive your call and happy to advise you. While no person can survive by working for free, it shouldn’t be a burden to speak about what they are passionate about. No matter how tired or weary I am, once I get into a conversation with someone about Michigan CSC laws, it's actually difficult to stop talking because I have so much information to reveal and advice I want to share. Any lawyer demanding money before they are willing to give you any information of any real value either lacks passion or knowledge Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges. After all, you're the one putting your life in their hands - not the other way around.

  • They are able to demonstrate special knowledge about Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct laws and cases. Again, any Criminal Defense Lawyer might be willing to take your money with very little convincing, and it would be easy for any lawyer to talk circles around someone who has no experience in the Court system. But be sure to listen for those signs that the lawyer you are speaking to has had unique experiences in Michigan CSC cases in particular. They may share a story about a unique circumstance they ran into and explain how they dealt with it - and how it may affect your case. They may talk about the unique ways that a psychological expert witness may testify under Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct case law, or they may tell you about the DNA expert they used in a prior CSC case. They'll be able to speak off-the-cuff about the differences between First Degree CSC under MCL 750.520b, Second Degree CSC under MCL 750.520c, Third Degree CSC under MCL 750.520d, Fourth Degree CSC under MCL 750.520e, and other Michigan Sex Crimes. Here's a little test you can use if you are considering hiring a lawyer for your CSC defense: ask them what must be done if you want to introduce the accuser's prior sexual conduct into evidence in your defense at trial, and what the deadline is. If they can't rattle off the answer (file a Motion pursuant to MCL 750.520j within 10 days after Arraignment on the Information), you may want to think twice before putting your future in their hands.

  • They understand that catering to your accuser in front of a Judge or Jury is NOT the way to defend a Criminal Sexual Conduct charge. Of course, a child presents a very unique circumstance, but whether it seems counter-intuitive or not in today's climate, every observer knows in their heart that someone who would lie and falsely accuse you of a Rape or Sexual Assault in order to get something they want is not entitled to be treated as though their claims are true. In our country, we have a presumption of innocence. If your own CSC Defense Lawyer doesn't believe you when you say the allegations are lies, and if he or she doesn't have the courage to convey that belief in their actions in Court, how can they expect to convince a Judge or Jury to come to that same conclusion? Every person (accuser, witness, prosecutor) deserves to be handled with basic human respect and dignity. The Courtroom is no place for displays of anger, disdain, or undue criticism. But a real CSC Defense Lawyer ultimately tells it like it is, and when an accuser or other prosecution witness is lying, then that's exactly what the lawyer needs to say in no uncertain terms.

  • They're willing to put in the work when it counts, for as long as it counts, to achieve the result you need. People accused of serious crimes like CSC in Michigan are desperate. There are lawyers out there who seek to take advantage of desperate people to get their money only to sell them out later. We would be rich if we had a dollar for every time we hear about some lawyer who made all kinds of promises during the initial consultation in the office to get the accused's family to give them $100K, and then goes to Court, tells the accused that they are "screwed" and that it's "impossible to beat a CSC charge in front of a Jury," and leads them to believe they must plead guilty and voluntarily go to Prison. Nothing could be further from the truth. But helping a Judge or Jury see the truth in your Criminal Sexual Conduct case takes hard work. Forget fancy suits, expensive shoes, and silk-stockings. A real trial lawyer is working though the night, often fighting to stay awake because he simply will not stand to be beaten. A real trial lawyer will stop at nothing. A real trial lawyer will never give up until they hear the words "CASE DISMISSED" or "NOT GUILTY." To put it very bluntly, that's exactly what you need if you plan on staying out of Prison. You cannot afford anything less.

If you or someone you care about is facing a Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charge, call Prain Law, PLLC any time at (248) 731-4543 for a no obligation, real consultation. Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney Brian J. Prain of Prain Law, PLLC has earned countless awards and recommendations for his trial work, including being named one of the 21 Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Detroit by Expertise.com, one of the Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Michigan by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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