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Will I Get Bond for First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?

Arrested for First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct? Learn About Bond.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) is the most serious Michigan CSC charge. Those charged with this crime in Michigan could face life in prison, and in some cases, a mandatory 25-year minimum sentence. If you are charged with first-degree CSC, it is imperative to take things one step at a time. The first thing you’ll need to consider is posting bond. As a top-flight and well-recognized Detroit criminal sexual conduct attorney, Brian J. Prain is often asked, “What will my bond be for first-degree criminal sexual conduct? Will I even get bond, or will the court deny me?”

If you aren't already aware, when someone accuses you of criminal sexual conduct (CSC) after an initial police investigation, your questions may include "Should I speak to the police when I'm accused of CSC?" and "What is a CARE House Interview?" If the police and prosecution ultimately decide to ask a Judge or Magistrate to authorize charges against you and those charges get authorized, then a warrant is issued for your arrest. From this point on, your freedom is in jeopardy.

Warrant Basics

A warrant is a court order directing any law enforcement officer who comes into contact with you to arrest you. They could actively come looking for you and arrest you at home or work, or they could merely let the warrant remain in the police computer system (the Law Enforcement Information Network, or "LEIN") until you get pulled over or have some other incidental police contact. Regardless, by the time you realize you're being investigated for something as serious as first-degree CSC under MCL 750.520b, you'll be aware that it’s happening because:

  • someone informed you that a police report has been made
  • an officer or detective has asked you to come in and make a statement
  • an officer or detective has asked you to take a polygraph (do NOT speak to police and do NOT take their polygraph)

As a result, you'll likely be informed via phone call or a letter that you have a warrant for criminal sexual conduct.

The best plan (you might even say the only plan) is to hire our experienced Detroit criminal sexual conduct attorney the moment you find out you're being investigated so you can receive proper advice and guidance in dealing with the police. A skilled lawyer at Prain Law, PLLC can act as your "go-between" so that you have zero direct contact with the police, and most detectives will agree to notify your lawyer if a warrant has been issued. Rather than being publicly arrested at your home or workplace, your CSC Attorney can arrange for a walk-in arraignment so that you never get arrested at all. We highly suggest to NOT simply "turn yourself in" without first hiring our attorney.

Whether you have an attorney to help you avoid an eventual arrest or not, getting a warrant for first-degree CSC means you'll eventually undergo the first of many court appearances, known as the arraignment in District Court. Arraignments can be in-person, where you are physically brought to the courthouse from jail or police lockup. Even before COVID-19 struck, however, arraignments have often been done via video, where defendants remain in police custody and see a Judge or Magistrate via two-way interactive video.

Bond Facts & Eligibility

The arraignment has two main purposes:

  • To inform you of your criminal charges, the maximum possible penalties and sex offender registration details
  • To determine whether you'll be released on bail while your case goes through the system and if so, what bond amount must be posted

Here's the situation when it comes to bond: When a person is accused of a crime, even for something as serious as first-degree CSC, they are presumed innocent and have the 8th Amendment right to reasonable bail. But like many Constitutional rights, they have limited rights that our courts ruled must be balanced against other interests, such as "ensuring the return to court for future hearings" and "protecting the community."

Thus, when you are released, you'll be ordered to comply with certain restrictions, known as "bond conditions." Conditions include not having contact with the alleged victim or others, not going to certain places, wearing a GPS tether, and most notably, having to post money bail.

Posting money bail (also called posting bond) means that to be released from jail while your case continues, you have to give the court a certain amount of money to hold on to before you can be released from jail. Sort of like collateral, you sign a contract with the court promising that if you flee the state, fail to appear in court, or violate any other condition, you'll forfeit the money and be locked up again pending the outcome of your case.

For most criminal charges, the arraigning Magistrate's choice is whether to impose any money bail amount, or to simply release you on "personal recognizance" (no money is paid, but you sign a contract holding you liable to pay a certain amount if you violate your conditions). If the Magistrate decides they need to hang on to some of your money, then they must decide what amount of money.

But first-degree criminal sexual conduct is so serious that it is one of only a handful of crimes for which you can actually be denied bond ("pretrial release") altogether. This means that no matter how much money you have to post, you must remain in jail until your case is complete. This is often referred to as having "no bond" or being "denied bond."

What Happens If I’m Denied Bond?

In first-degree CSC cases, the Magistrate's decision at arraignment regarding whether or not to grant bond and, if they allow it, what amount it should be, is based on the "bond factors" listed in Michigan Court Rule ("MCR") 6.106(F):

  • defendant’s prior criminal record, including juvenile offenses
  • defendant’s record of appearance or nonappearance at court proceedings or flight to avoid prosecution
  • defendant’s history of substance abuse or addiction
  • defendant’s mental condition, including character and reputation for dangerousness
  • the seriousness of the offense charged, the presence or absence of threats, and the probability of conviction and likely sentence
  • defendant’s employment status and history and financial history insofar as these factors relate to the ability to post money bail
  • the availability of responsible members of the community who would vouch for or monitor the defendant
  • facts indicating the defendant’s ties to the community, including family ties and relationships, and length of residence
  • any other facts bearing on the risk of nonappearance or danger to the public

Bond Obstacles

Even though you're technically supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the focus of these questions is centered around whether or not the Magistrate believes you are likely to return to court when ordered and if you present a danger to the community. Naturally, the lower the chance is of those two things happening, the lower the chance of being denied bond and the lower the bond amount will be.

For example, if we took two men, each charged with first-degree CSC under the exact same circumstances and have no criminal history with all other factors remaining equal, they should receive the same bond amount, right? But this is where things get tricky...

The reality is, there are no set bond amounts, and no "bond guidelines" in Michigan; the arraigning Magistrate could set one person's bond for first-degree CSC at $20,000 and the other's bond at $500,000 in the same day without technically violating anyone's rights and justifying it based on the slightest distinguishing factor.

So, when we are asked "What will my bond amount be for first-degree criminal sexual conduct?" we can't answer — we can only give educated guidance based on our experience. Here are some sample scenarios of different bond amounts for first-degree CSC:

  1. A 40-year-old man with no prior criminal history was charged with first-degree CSC and was ordered a bond amount of $25,000, "cash or surety." This means he can either pay the $25,000 cash if he has it or use a bail bondsman, known as "surety.” A bail bondsman charges a fee (usually around 10% so in this case, $2,500) and in exchange, secures your release from jail by signing a contract with the court to be liable for 25% of the bond amount if you flee, fail to appear, or violate your conditions. Because of the bail bondsman’s liability, they often require you to comply with their own additional conditions, and if you don't, the law allows them to keep your money, come get you, and take you straight to jail for almost any reason they want.
  2. A 25-year-old man with two prior felony convictions was charged with first-degree CSC and got a bond amount of $200,000, "cash, surety, or 10%." As with the above example, he can pay the entire amount himself, hire a bail bondsman who may charge around $20,000, or pay 10% of the amount, also $20,000. Here, we have a situation where the court is setting the total amount you'd be liable for if you violated rather high at $200K, but allowing you to be released upon payment of only 10% up-front if you have the money. Also, the cost of a bail bondsman and the 10% are the same amount. In this case, pay the 10% yourself because you'll get most of it back after the case ends.With a bail bondsman, they keep the money AND you have to comply with their rules.
  3. A 60-year-old man with no prior criminal history except one DUI charge from 20 years ago is charged with first-degree CSC and gets a bond amount of $50,000 on "personal recognizance." This means he is released from jail without paying any money up-front but signs a contract to be liable for that amount if he violates his conditions.

Why You Need a Lawyer to Get Bond

If you are arraigned and your bond is set higher than what you can afford, a skilled Michigan criminal sexual conduct lawyer can aid you by bringing a motion to reduce the amount of your bond. If you are denied bond for first-degree CSC, then your speedy trial rights go into effect, and your CSC defense attorney should immediately file a motion for a custody hearing, where evidence and witnesses may be presented to demonstrate that you are not a flight risk or a danger to the community.

The bottom line is this: The road to not guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct can be a long one, but every journey starts with a single step. If you’re recently been accused of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, don’t wait to hire a CSC defense attorney. Hiring a lawyer before arraignment is the best way to get the lowest bond amount and have the best chance of avoiding a “no bond” situation.

BRIAN J. PRAIN OF PRAIN LAW, PLLC IS A SKILLED CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT ATTORNEY WHO KNOWS HOW TO SET THE SCENE PROPERLY IN ADVANCE OF ARRAIGNMENT, AND HOW TO ARGUE AT ARRAIGNMENT TO AVOID THESE PROBLEMS IN THE FIRST PLACE. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF FIRST DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT ANYWHERE IN MICHIGAN, DON'T HESITATE TO CONTACT DETROIT CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT LAWYER BRIAN J. PRAIN OF PRAIN LAW, PLLC AT (248) 731-4543 OR ONLINE USING OUR CONTACT FORM.

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Prain Law, PLLC is focused only on the types charges featured on our website. This helps us deliver the decisive, effective advocacy for which our clients know us. We only serve individuals currently under investigation or who have a current case pending in court. Our firm does not represent injury victims, defendants who have already taken a plea or have been sentenced, or those seeking to expunge a criminal record. We do not respond to anyone who is not involved in a pending investigation or who has a court case for a type of charge we do not handle, but we wish you the very best of luck.