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Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney - Why Experience Matters

These days, there seems to be no shortage of attorneys holding themselves out online as a "Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney" or "Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Lawyer." But it seems likely that many, if not most, of the attorneys who advertise this on their websites and blogs and Ad Word campaigns really don't have all that much experience in handling Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) cases, let alone actual jury trials. There are many reasons for this, and if you or someone you know is facing Michigan CSC charges and looking for an attorney to defend against these very serious charges, here's something you absolutely need to be aware of right from the start...

For an attorney to call themselves an "expert" or some similar phrase in any particular field of criminal defense, whether it be drug possession, drunk driving, theft crimes, and of course Criminal Sexual Conduct, there is actually no special license, certification, test, endorsement, special class, number of cases handled, or any other special privilege required under Michigan law to call ones self an "expert." All that is required to practice any particular type of criminal defense is to be a licensed attorney - that's it. At the same time, there is fierce competition among attorneys to get Defendant's to hire them to defend against Criminal Sexual Conduct charges.

The result: the attorney whose webpage you land on calling themselves "Top Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney" or similar could be an attorney who just literally just decided to start taking CSC cases after 20 years of drunk driving practice, and may in fact have very little to no experience in handling CSC cases at all. For that matter, they may have been an attorney who spent 20 years doing divorce or chasing ambulances with virtually no experience in criminal defense - period!

This might be okay if the charge is something simple like petty misdemeanor retail fraud, and the attorney has read enough about criminal procedure to navigate their way through the system and their inexperience doesn't hurt the client - everyone has to start somewhere. But Criminal Sexual Conduct charges are not like petty drug and theft crimes - they are very serious charges, with serious penalties of up to LIFE in Prison for First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, MCL 750.520b, and tons of special rules, particularities, and "traps" for a novice lawyer just making the transition into CSC defense to fall right into at the expense of their client's case.

At Prain Law, PLLC, a significant number of the calls we receive are from CSC Defendants who are in that exact predicament, they have seen the light, and now they're looking for a new CSC Defense Lawyer to replace their current, inept lawyer, but now with a severely limited budget. So don't make that mistake. Even the so-called "misdemeanor" Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, MCL 750.520e, is a very serious charge compared to other misdemeanors - they're just not in the same realm.

There are literally tons of examples of this, but here is a common one: through consultation, we identify a situation where the previous lawyer should have filed a Motion under the Michigan Rape Shield law, MCL 750.520j within 10 days of the Arraignment on the Information, but they failed to. Now, the Defendant's right to introduce information critical to their defense could be in jeopardy. In fact, if an attorney is holding themselves out online as a Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Lawyer, or "Top CSC Attorney," just try asking them "What is Michigan's Rape Shield law? What MCL number is it under?

Anyone seriously concentrating their practice on Criminal Sexual Conduct defense should know this without even a second to think. But we think you'd probably be surprised by what you hear (or don't hear). This discussion could go on and on with example after example, but here's the point...

When I was a teenager, I loved working on cars. Turning wrenches, getting my hands dirty, and making something mechanical work perfect again was like heaven to me. I had an old Mustang, and I put a "solid" camshaft in the motor because I wanted that particular sound, but the engine was fuel injected. Don't worry if you don't know what this means - the point is, every so often, I'd have to take apart the entire top half and front of the motor to adjust the valves. The first time I did it, it took all day. I asked myself what would happen if I undid this bolt or that pulley. Would the fuel injectors go back in without leaking? Could it cause a fire? Well, my strategy was just to close my eyes, start turning wrenches, and just see what happened! That was just a car, but how would you feel if I was your mechanic, and you were paying for those hours of my "education"? Worse, how would you feel if that was how your lawyer was handling your Criminal Sexual Conduct case?  Because that's what a lot of these attorneys are!  So don't get fooled by fancy ads and website titles - see if the lawyer can answer the tough questions.  

Fast-forward a few years and I could get that entire engine job done in about 3 hours. I knew all the tricks and shortcuts, as well as what to watch out for, and I even thought a few friends how to do it. Hopefully, the point of all of this is clear without saying too much more. Criminal Sexual Conduct cases are highly specialized, and when it's your life, you don't deserve to be an attorney's educational experience. Even an attorney with many years experience doesn't translate into success in defending those accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct. These are the types of cases where the attorney must see many of these cases from start to completion, including jury trials with many victories of NOT GUILTY of Criminal Sexual Conduct in order to understand how all of the nuts and bolts fit together.

At Prain Law, PLLC, we actually do concentrate our practice on defending those charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan. If you or someone you know is facing current charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct, contact us anytime at (248) 731-4543.

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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.