Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan - What Will My Bond Be?

Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan is the name given to the category of Sex Crimes, generally. Called "CSC" for short, Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges are broken down into four basic categories (in addition to other Sex Crimes): First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, and Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. The possible penalties for CSC in Michigan range from 2 years in Prison all the way up to LIFE with other consequences, such as lifetime tethers and registration on the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA).

The point as it relates to this article is this: CSC charges are nothing like a misdemeanor Assault and Battery or DUI. Even despite your innocence, you'll have to go through the Court process just the same a the guilty. The only difference will be that if you find the right Michigan CSC Defense Attorney so that truth and justice prevail, your story will end with an acquittal rather than a conviction.

The first stage in the Court process is the Arraignment. Aside from informing you what CSC crime or crimes you are charged with and what the possible penalties are, the other purpose of the Arraignment is to set the terms and conditions of your "Bond," and the amount and type of money bail to be posted in order to secure your release from custody. Even though you're supposedly presumed innocent under law, once you're charged and Arraigned, the real "presumption" is that you wait in Jail while your case is pending until completion unless you agree to comply with a list of certain conditions (called your "Bond") and/or give the Court a sum of your money to hang onto while the case is pending (called your "money bail"). The Bond conditions may include: not leaving Michigan, wearing a GPS tether, no contact with your accuser, drug or alcohol testing, and others.

Depending on what degree of CSC you're facing, the money bail could be as low as $0 (called a "Personal Recognizance Bond" or "PR Bond"), or as high as in the Millions. If you are charged with First Degree CSC in Michigan, the Judge or Magistrate can actually deny you any Bond, meaning you wait in Jail unless or until that decision is modified at a later Court hearing. The Court has alot of discretion, and there are often two very similar cases, but the Bond amount and terms will vary greatly depending on the Court and Judge. Officially, despite your presumption of innocence, at the Arraignment on Criminal Sexual Conduct charges, the Court is supposed to look at the factors listed in Michigan Court Rule 6.106 to set your Bond amount. The Court is only supposed to evaluate whether you are either: a) a flight risk (that you may not come back to Court or may leave Michigan); or b) a danger to the community. The Bond conditions and money bail amount are only supposed to be for the purpose of ensuring you will return to Court and the safety of the community - NOT to reflect a judgment on your guilt or innocence, but many Judges and Magistrates run afoul of this.

When it comes to money bail, when you go into the Arraignment, you have to be ready to pay it right away, or "post Bond," otherwise you go to Jail unless and until it is posted by you or someone else on your behalf. But what do you do if the amount set by the Judge/Magistrate is substantial, and considering all of the other costs of your defense, you simply can't pay it? Let's look at a typical example:

Let's imagine you are charged with Second Degree CSC, and your bail amount at Arraignment is set at $50,000. The Judge or Magistrate will state the type of bail: cash, surety, or 10% (typically, all of the above, but not always). If the Judge declares it to be "cash," that mens you'd have to come-up with $50,000 in actual cash (or credit card, etc., the point being that you have to post the entire $50,000).

If the Judge declares it to be "surety," that means that if you need to, you can use the services of a Bail Bondsman. A Bail Bondsman is a supposedly familiar and trustworthy individual in the eyes of the Court, whose profession is to enter into a contract with the Court stating that if you violate any of the terms of your Bond (i.e. if you leave Michigan without permission, etc.), then they are liable to pay the Court a certain percentage of the $50,000. In exchange for taking that risk, the Bail Bondsman charges you a fee (it varies between Bail Bondsmen, and you can "shop around"), and also has you sign a contract with them, whereby you agree to do certain things, depending on the individual Bail Bondsman (check-in with them weekly, pay more money after a certain amount of time, etc.). At the end of your case, money paid to a Bail Bondsman is not returned to you as it would be if you had posted the cash instead. Before they take this risk, like any creditor, the Bail Bondsman obviously wants to know all about you and your trustworthiness. They may want you to pledge the title to property, such as your vehicle or home, as collateral. Obviously, all of this needs to be arraigned in advance and is made very difficult once you are arrested. Therefore, if you know you are being investigated for CSC, we recommend that you immediately establish a connection with several trusted Bail Bondsmen, get them the necessary documents in advance, and memorize their phone numbers.

Finally, if the bail is also designated as "10%," it means that instead of posting the entire $50,000 in cash to the Court, you can post only 10%, or $5,000, AND, you get it back at the end (minus 10% of the $5,000). Obviously, if we imagine that the Bail Bondsman's fee is $5,000, the same as the 10% amount, you would post the 10% yourself without involving a Bondsman so you get your money back and you don't have to live at the mercy of a Bondsman. Believe it or not, under law, a Bondsman can take your money, decide at the drop of a hat that they no longer want to shoulder the risk, and can literally arrest you, take you to Jail, and keep your money. They don't even have to have a good reason, and it could be the result of a simply dispute or conflict you've had over what the terms of your agreement with them are. As such, you can see just how important it is to get a trusted Bail Bondsman.

Well, there you have it - a basic overview of how Bond and money bail works in a Michigan CSC case. But this only scratches the surface, and in addition to finding a great Bail Bondsman in-case you need them, you should immediately contact a top-notch Michigan CSC Defense Attorney, like Brian J. Prain of Prain Law, PLLC at (248) 731-4543. Brian J. Prain has been named one of Metro Detroit's "Top 21 Criminal Defense Lawyers," and he concentrates his practice exclusively on defending those accused of assaultive crimes, particularly CSC. Why leave your freedom and future in the hands of a lawyer who spends their time defending DUIs and divorces when you could have someone who lives and breathes the exact type of Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges you're facing?

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