Definition of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan

What is the definition of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan? Under Michigan law, Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC for short) is the name given to the broad category of criminal charges that include most of our Sex Crimes (or Sex Related Crimes). As such, the actual term "Criminal Sexual Conduct" itself doesn't exactly have its own definition on the books; it means exactly what it suggests: sexual conduct, that, by law, is designated as a crime. In this article, top Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney Brian J. Prain discusses the basics of Michigan's Criminal Sexual Conduct laws and other Sex Crimes.

So asking "What is the definition of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan?" is a lot like asking "what is a Ford?" Well, generally, it's an automobile, but at the same time, it's a lot of different things because there are a lot of different types. It used to be there was only one model of Ford, just like the only Sex Crime at common law used to be the felony charge of "Rape." Nowadays, you won't find the word "Rape" in Michigan's Sex Crimes laws, but the category of CSC includes a whole litany of sexual activities that are criminal, and only a few of those are similar to what used to be known as "Rape" (CSC Third Degree under the "force or coercion" multiple variable).

Under Michigan law, here are some of the different types of Criminal Sexual Conduct and other related Sex Crimes, along with a very brief definition, the Michigan statute where you'll find them, and the maximum possible penalty. You can click any of the links below to take you to our pages with additional information. Here is an overview of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan:

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct - First Degree (CSC 1), MCL 750.520b - punishable by LIFE in Prison

    • CSC 1 encompasses several types of illegal sexual penetration (including oral sex, digital penetration, and sexual intercourse, as opposed to just touching) that involve an aggravating circumstances that makes it more serious than CSC 3 (see below). A typical example of a Michigan CSC 1 charge would be alleged sexual penetration with a person who is under 13 years of age.

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct - Second Degree (CSC 2), MCL 750.520c - punishable by up to 15 years in Prison

    • CSC 2 is illegal sexual contact (meaning touching, as opposed to penetration) that involves an aggravating circumstance that makes it more serious than CSC 4 (see below). A typical example of a Michigan CSC 2 charge would be alleged sexual contact with a person under 13 years of age. These cases often involve expert witnesses.

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct - Third Degree (CSC 3), MCL 750.520d - punishable by up to 15 years in Prison

    • CSC 3 includes many types of illegal sexual penetration that are still serious, but not quite as serious or aggravating as the things that would make it CSC 1. A typical example of a Michigan CSC 3 charge would be alleged sexual penetration with a person who is 16 or older, and therefore of legal age, but the act is still illegal because it was done by "force or coercion" where the defense of consent does not properly apply. Many Criminal Sexual Conduct cases involving a Rape Kit and DNA evidence are Third Degree CSC charges.

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct - Fourth Degree (CSC 4), MCL 750.520e - punishable by up to 2 years in Prison

    • CSC 4 includes many types of illegal sexual touching that are still serious, but not quite as serious or aggravating as the things that would make it CSC 2. A typical example of a Michigan CSC 4 charge would be alleged sexual contact with a person who is 16 or older, and therefore of legal age, but the act is still illegal because it was done by "force or coercion" where the defense of consent does not properly apply. We see many Fourth Degree CSC cases arising from alleged workplace sexual harassment.

  • Assault With Intent to Commit Sexual Penetration, MCL 750.520g - punishable by up to 10 years in Prison

    • Assault With Intent to Commit Sexual Penetration (properly called Assault With Intent to Commit CSC Involving Sexual Penetration) is, for practical purposes, an attempt to commit something that would be CSC 1 or CSC 3 if the sexual penetration actually occurred.

  • Assault With Intent to Commit CSC in the Second Degree, MCL 750.520g - punishable by up to 5 years in Prison

    • Assault With Intent to Commit CSC in the Second Degree is, for practical purposes, an attempt to commit something that would be CSC 2 fi the sexual contact actually occurred.

  • Accosting, Enticing, or Soliciting a Child for Immoral Purposes (Accosting a Minor), MCL 750.145a - punishable by up to 4 years in Prison

    • Often simply called Accosting a Minor charges, the best way to describe this crime is to think of it as the Michigan equivalent of the types of illegal activities that they catch people conducting online in the popular TV show "To Catch a Predator."

  • Gross Indecency, MCL 750.338 (Gross Indecency Between Males), 750.338a (Gross Indecency Between Females), and 750.338b (Gross Indecency Between Male and Female Persons) - punishable by up to 5 years in Prison

    • Gross Indecency essentially means committing a sex act in a public place where others can see it. It is a lot like Indecent Exposure (see below), but it's an actual act of masturbation or sex with another person, rather than just exposure of part of one's body.

  • Child Sexually Abusive Material (and Child Sexually Abusive Activity), MCL 750.145c - punishable by up to 4, 7, or 20 years in Prison, depending...

    • This is the crime charged when someone either possesses, distributes, or produces child pornography. These charges typically involve computers and are often alternatively charged under United States criminal laws in Federal Court.

  • Indecent Exposure and Aggravated Indecent Exposure, MCL 750.335a - up to 1 year in Jail (Indecent Exposure) or 2 years in Prison (Aggravated Indecent Exposure)

    • Indecent Exposure essentially means exposing ones private parts in a place and under circumstances where others would find it to be offensive. Aggravated Indecent Exposure is the same thing, but with the additional element of allegedly fondling one's self. A typical Aggravated Indecent Exposure involves someone allegedly masturbating in view of others in a public place.

If you or someone you care about is facing Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges, contact Michigan CSC Defense Attorney Brian J. Prain of Prain Law, PLLC and get real answers from an attorney who concentrates on defending those accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct, instead of just a "general" Criminal Defense Attorney who handles DUI, theft, and drug cases. There are simply too many specifics in CSC cases for the general practitioner to keep up with.

Detroit Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Brian J. Prain has been ranked one of the top Criminal Defense Attorneys. Among the awards and recognition that Brian has received for his work are: Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Michigan by The National Trial Lawyers, Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Michigan by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, one of the 21 Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Detroit by Expertise.com, being named in Super Lawyers Magazine and HOUR Detroit Magazine, and being singled out as one of Detroit's Top Lawyers for 2019 by D Business Magazine.

Contact Prain Law, PLLC by phone at (248) 731-4543 or submit your inquiry using our Contact Form.
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