If I'm Accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct, Does That Mean I'll be Charged?

Criminal Sexual Conduct charges in Michigan are serious among all crimes because the penalties often include Prison time and Sex Offender Registration if you are convicted. But does every allegation of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC for short) actually turn into a criminal charge? As a Criminal Defense Attorney dedicated to defending those facing Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct allegations and charges, this is a question we receive often.

The basic answer is "No, not everyone accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan is actually charged with a crime." However, in our experience, the sad truth is that many, if not most, are. There are many reasons for this, but among the most common is the fact that when most people find out they've been accused of a Sex Crime, they do or say the wrong things to the wrong people and end up making their situation much worse. For example, many people find out that someone has accused them of CSC because they receive a phone call from a police officer or detective asking them to come in for an interview and/or take a polygraph examination.

At the outset, it is worth noting that the basic Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges are broken-down into "degrees": First Degree CSC, MCL 750.520b, Second Degree CSC, MCL 750.520c, Third Degree CSC, MCL 750.520d, and Fourth Degree CSC, MCL 750.520e.

Simply because the person accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct is innocent (and having no experience with the police or courts), they may assume there is no reason to avoid speaking to police and remain silent. They fail to realize that there is little they can see to help themselves, and they are much more likely to hurt their situation, even when adamantly denying the false CSC allegations. They are fearful and believe they're doing what they can to make the situation go away as quickly as possible, so they decide to take a police polygraph, not realizing that they've been set up to fail. Even though the fact of a polygraph itself is not admissible in court, statements made in the course of the polygraph examination may still be twisted and used against them to bolster the Prosecution's case.

RELATED: Being Investigated for CSC? Here's 5 Tips to Avoid Jail

RELATED: Being Charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct? Read about the Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Court Process

Here's the bottom-line: if you are accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan, even where there is no Rape KitDNA evidence, no scientific evidence, and no evidence other than the accuser's word alone (which lay people often refer to as "CSC charges based on hearsay alone"), there is a substantial risk that you will be charged anyway. Sadly, the Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct laws do not require corroborating evidence in addition to just the alleged victim's word.

In our practice at Prain Law, we have even seen people charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan where there is clear evidence suggesting innocence. We have also seen cases where there actually would appear to be corroborating evidence (reliable or not), but no charges are brought because the alleged victim simply doesn't want to prosecute, although that is very, very rare - what is more common where the alleged victim does not wish to prosecute is that the government still goes forward with charges regardless.

At the end of the day, nobody can predict whether you'll be charged or not. If you or someone you care about is being accused of or investigated for Criminal Sexual Conduct, the very best thing they should do is get an experienced Michigan CSC Defense Lawyer on their side. Do not speak to police. Do not speak to anyone. Let your Attorney be your advisor and your voice. Nobody can guarantee that even bogus charges will be stopped, but if you are charged with CSC, don't let it be because you made the wrong choices when the target is on your back.

Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney Brian J. Prain of Prain Law, PLLC defends those accused of CSC in Michigan. Brian has been selected as one of the 21 Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Detroit by Expertise.com, one of D Business Magazine's Top Lawyers for 2019, one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Michigan by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, one of the Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Michigan by The National Trial Lawyers, and can be found in Super Lawyers Magazine and HOUR Detroit.

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