Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan - Differences Between the Degrees

At Prain Law, PLLC, we specifically limit our practice solely to defending those accused of Sex Crimes, otherwise known as Criminal Sexual Conduct, and a few other limited types of assaultive crimes. A common question we receive is "What is the difference between First Degree CSC and Second Degree CSC?", or "What is the difference between Third Degree CSC and Fourth Degree CSC?" (or some combination thereof).

One Google search will convince you that Michigan's Criminal Sexual Conduct laws are confusing. What follows is a plain and simple breakdown of the four basic Degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan in terms of three things: 1) How that Degree of CSC is generally defined (what makes it different from the others); 2) the maximum possible penalty for that Degree of CSC; and 3) what level (or "tier") of Sex Offender Registration applies. For more in-depth information on any subject below, simply click the links in this article.

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, MCL 750.520b

  • How CSC 1 is Defined in Michigan: Unlawful sexual penetration in addition to some "aggravating circumstance" that makes it more serious (these factors for each Degree of CSC are known as "multiple variables").

  • Possible Penalty: Up to LIFE or any term of years in Prison with mandatory lifetime electric monitoring (tether) and possible consecutive sentencing with any other CSC charges. Mandatory 25 year minimum sentence where the alleged victim was less than 13 years of age.

  • Sex Offender Registration: Lifetime, public (Tier 3).

  • Typical Case: Defendant is accused of digitally penetrating someone under age 13, which can include more than just the laypersons definition of "penetration," including alleged oral sex on either party.

Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, MCL 750.520c

  • How CSC 2 is Defined in Michigan: Unlawful sexual contact (meaning touching, as opposed to "penetration") in addition to some aggravating circumstance.

  • Possible Penalty: Up to 15 years in Prison, possible lifetime tether.

  • Sex Offender Registration: Either lifetime public or 25 years public (Tier 2 or 3, depending).

  • Typical Case: Defendant is accused of sexually touching the daughter or an ex-girlfriend who was under age 13.

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, MCL 750.520d

  • How CSC 3 is Defined in Michigan: Unlawful sexual penetration in addition to some less aggravating circumstance (something less serious than that required for CSC 1).

  • Possible Penalty: Up to 15 years in Prison

  • Sex Offender Registration: Lifetime, public (Tier 3)

  • Typical Case: Defendant is accused of having sexual intercourse with someone by force or coercion (without their consent) after a night of drinking - in other words, the common definition of "Rape."

RELATED: Can my CSC charges be increased to First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, MCL 750.520e

  • How CSC 4 is Defined in Michigan: Unlawful sexual contact in addition to some less aggravating circumstance (something less serious than that required for CSC 2).

  • Possible Penalty: Up to 2 years in Prison

  • Sex Offender Registration: Lifetime public, 25 years public, or 15 years non-public (Tier 1, 2, or 3, depending).

  • Typical Case: Defendant accused of sexually touching someone in the workplace by force or coercion (without their consent).

Michigan also has other Sex Crimes / CSC charges, such as Assault With Intent to Commit Sexual Penetration, Accosting a Minor, and Indecent Exposure. For more information on these other Michigan Sex Crimes, click the following link to visit our Sex Crimes Main Page.

Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney Brian J. Prain of Prain Law, PLLC has been voted as one of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Michigan by Super Lawyers Magazine, D Business Magazine Top Lawyers, 2019, Expertise.com, The National Trial Lawyers, The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and more.

If you or someone you care about has been accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan, Contact Prain Law, PLLC anytime to find out how we can help save your future, your freedom, and your life.
Categories:

Contact Prain Law, PLLC

Schedule a Free & Confidential Consultation
  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.