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What is Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree in Michigan?

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A conviction for Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan will change your life forever. A person convicted of CSC 4 in Michigan can serve up to 2 years behind bars, and there's no requirement of any penetration - Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 4th Degree can result from something as simple as touching someone's leg. Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Attorney Brian J. Prain is dedicated to helping you avoid these consequences.

RELATED: November, 2017 - Wayne County Jury finds Metro Detroit Criminal Sexual Conduct Lawyer Brian J. Prain's client NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS in a highly contested CSC case. Click here to hear about the case and learn how you can achieve the same result.

If you are convicted of Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, you will be required to register on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry for either 25 years publicly or 15 years non-publicly, depending on the age of the Complainant. The period of registration begins after release from Jail or Prison.

DON'T TALK TO POLICE! Contact a Detroit sex crimes attorney with experience in Criminal Sexual Conduct immediately. Even if you completely deny the accusations, almost any statement to the Police can and will incriminate you, especially in a Michigan CSC 4th Degree case. There are rarely any witnesses or physical evidence, and it is the accused's own words which can result in a conviction.

RELATED: Should I take a Polygraph in my Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct case?

What is the definition of CSC Fourth Degree in Michigan?

Detroit sex crimes lawyer Brian J. Prain established Prain Law, PLLC as a Criminal Defense firm to specifically concentrates on defending those facing charges with an element of Assault, including Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (also referred to as "CSC 4," "CSC Fourth Degree," "Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct," "Fourth Degree CSC," "Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree," and other similar names for short). CSC 4 is essentially an Assault and Battery for a "sexual purpose."

RELATED: Click here for answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about Criminal Sexual Conduct. RELATED: I'm charged with Fourth Degree CSC and I keep hearing about using an EXPERT WITNESS. Can I get one for my case?

The Michigan CSC Fourth Degree law, MCL 750.520e, states:

"(1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree if he or she engages in sexual contact with another person and if any of the following circumstances exist: (a) That other person is at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age, and the actor is 5 or more years older than that other person. (b) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the sexual contact. Force or coercion includes, but is not limited to, any of the following circumstances: (i) When the actor overcomes the victim through the actual application of physical force or physical violence. (ii) When the actor coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence on the victim, and the victim believes that the actor has the present ability to execute that threat. (iii) When the actor coerces the victim to submit by threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim, or any other person, and the victim believes that the actor has the ability to execute that threat. As used in this subparagraph, "to retaliate" includes threats of physical punishment, kidnapping, or extortion. (iv) When the actor engages in the medical treatment or examination of the victim in a manner or for purposes which are medically recognized as unethical or unacceptable. (v) When the actor achieves the sexual contact through concealment or by the element of surprise. (c) The actor knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. (d) That other person is related to the actor by blood or affinity to the third degree and the sexual contact occurs under circumstances not otherwise prohibited by this chapter. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this subdivision that the other person was in a position of authority over the defendant and used this authority to coerce the defendant to violate this subdivision. The defendant has the burden of proving this defense by a preponderance of the evidence. This subdivision does not apply if both persons are lawfully married to each other at the time of the alleged violation. (e) The actor is a mental health professional and the sexual contact occurs during or within 2 years after the period in which the victim is his or her client or patient and not his or her spouse. The consent of the victim is not a defense to a prosecution under this subdivision. A prosecution under this subsection shall not be used as evidence that the victim is mentally incompetent. (f) That other person is at least 16 years of age but less than 18 years of age and a student at a public school or nonpublic school, and either of the following applies: (i) The actor is a teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator of that public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district. This subparagraph does not apply if the other person is emancipated or if both persons are lawfully married to each other at the time of the alleged violation. (ii) The actor is an employee or a contractual service provider of the public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district in which that other person is enrolled, or is a volunteer who is not a student in any public school or nonpublic school, or is an employee of this state or of a local unit of government of this state or of the United States assigned to provide any service to that public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district, and the actor uses his or her employee, contractual, or volunteer status to gain access to, or to establish a relationship with, that other person. (g) That other person is at least 16 years old but less than 26 years of age and is receiving special education services, and either of the following applies: (i) The actor is a teacher, substitute teacher, administrator, employee, or contractual service provider of the public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district from which that other person receives the special education services. This subparagraph does not apply if both persons are lawfully married to each other at the time of the alleged violation. (ii) The actor is a volunteer who is not a student in any public school or nonpublic school, or is an employee of this state or of a local unit of government of this state or of the United States assigned to provide any service to that public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district, and the actor uses his or her employee, contractual, or volunteer status to gain access to, or to establish a relationship with, that other person. (h) The actor is an employee, contractual service provider, or volunteer of a child care organization, or a person licensed to operate a foster family home or a foster family group home, in which that other person is a resident, that other person is at least 16 years of age, and the sexual contact occurs during that other person's residency. As used in this subdivision, "child care organization", "foster family home", and "foster family group home" mean those terms as defined in section 1 of 1973 PA 116, MCL 722.111. (2) Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both."

RELATED: click here for the definition of "Mentally Incapable, Mentally Disabled, Mentally Incapacitated, or Physically Helpless" in the Michigan CSC laws.

Definition of “Sexual Contact” in Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree cases

In Michigan, "Sexual Contact" means intentional touching done for sexual purposes or could reasonably be construed as having been done for sexual purposes" to any of the following areas of another person's body:

  • Genital area
  • Groin
  • Inner thigh
  • Buttock
  • Breast
  • The clothing covering these areas

The definition of "Sexual Contact" in Michigan Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct also includes making the other person touch any of these parts on your body.

RELATED: What is a "Rape Kit"? Will they do a Rape Kit in my CSC case? RELATED: How can I be charged with 4th Degree CSC when my accuser keeps changing their story?

Definition of "Force or Coercion" in Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct, 4th Degree cases

In Michigan 4th Degree CSC, "Force or Coercion" includes (but is not limited to):

1) When the actor overcomes the victim through the actual application of physical force or physical violence.

2) When the actor coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence on the victim, and the victim believes that the actor has the present ability to execute these threats.

3) When the actor coerces the victim to submit by threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim, or any other person, and the victim believes that the actor has the ability to execute this threat. As used in this subdivision, "to retaliate" includes threats of physical punishment, kidnapping, or extortion.

4) When the actor engages in the medical treatment or examination of the victim in a manner or for purposes that are medically recognized as unethical or unacceptable.

5) When the actor, through concealment or by the element of surprise, is able to overcome the victim.

RELATED: Is consent a defense to CSC 4 charges in Michigan?

A Criminal Sexual Conduct Fourth Degree Conviction Requires Registration as a Sex Offender According to the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct under MCL 750.520e can be either a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 offense, depending on the age of the alleged victim.

  • If the alleged victim is less than 13 and you are 17 or older, a conviction for CSC 4 is a Tier 3 offense, meaning you will be on the Public Sex Offender Registry for your entire LIFETIME and will have to "report" or "verify" four times each year.
  • If the alleged victim is between 13 and 18, a conviction for CSC 4 is a Tier 2 offense, meaning you will be on the Public Registry for 25 years and will have to "report" or "verify" twice each year. You cannot Petition for early removal.
  • If the alleged victim is over 18, a conviction for CSC 4 is a Tier 1 offense, meaning you will be on the non-public Registry for 15 years and will have to "report" or "verify" once each year. You can Petition for early removal from the Sex Offender Registry after 10 years if you have no additional felony convictions, completed your Sentence without revocation, and completed with any Sex Offender Program ordered as part of your Sentence. See MCL 28.728c.
RELATED: Click here to learn about Criminal Sexual Conduct child forensic interviews like CARE House and Kids Talk.

Registration on the Sex Offender Registry begins immediately after the Presentence Investigation Interview, but the 15 year, 25 year, or lifetime clock doesn't begin until you are released from custody. Any person can view the Michigan State Police website and find out that you are a convicted sex offender. You'll be forbidden from residing, working, or loitering within 1000 feet from any school property, known as a "Student Safety Zone" (with exceptions for students living with parents);

In addition to "reporting" or "verifying" either once, twice, or four times each year, you would have to notify the proper law enforcement agency immediately if you do any of the following:

  • Enroll at any College or University, or discontinue enrollment;
  • Change your place of employment or quit or are fired;
  • Change your residence or domicile;
  • Change your name;
  • Establish any E-mail or Instant Message address or any other type of account used in internet communications or postings;
  • Intend to temporarily reside at any place other than your residence for more than seven days; or
  • Purchase or begin to regularly drive any vehicle, or if you sell, transfer, or stop driving the vehicle.

Failure to register, report, and comply with the Sex Offenders Registration Act are serious crimes in themselves. This is reason alone to aggressively defend a Michigan CSC 4 charge.

DNA Profiling in Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases

Under a new amended Michigan law, MCL 28.176, those arrested for Fourth Degree CSC (or even attempted Fourth Degree CSC) in Michigan may be required to give a DNA sample as soon as they are arrested. This is questionable under the new law, which is only supposed to apply to felonies or attempted felonies (however, this law defines "felony" as punishable by more than 1 year in jail, which technically includes CSC 4). You must give DNA if you are arrested for CSC 4 - you don't even have to actually be convicted of CSC 4.

Click here to read more about the new, tougher DNA collection law in Michigan.

This DNA sample collecting is done with a "buccal swab," a Q-tip type swab swiped on the inside of your cheek. From there, your DNA is sent to the FBI to be put in the nationwide Combined DNA Index System (or "CODIS") and also the Michigan State Police Forensic Crime Lab in Northville, Michigan for comparison (in the event that DNA was taken from the alleged victim as evidence in the case). From there, every single time a crime is committed across the nation where DNA evidence is taken, that DNA evidence will be compared to your DNA. This is very invasive and prejudicial, and it happens as soon as you are arrested. Refusing to give a DNA sample as required by law is another misdemeanor crime in itself.

RELATED: DNA evidence in Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases

Can I get the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act ("HYTA") for Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan?

No, you cannot get HYTA for Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (or Attempt or Conspiracy to commit CSC 4) in Michigan UNLESS the alleged victim is at least 13 years old and less than 16 years old, and you were at least 5 years older than them. Even if you do get HYTA, you can still get time behind bars. The biggest advantage to getting HYTA is you would not have to register as a sex offender.

The Michigan Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, MCL 762.11, allows a person age 17 to 24 at the time of the offense to plead guilty without having a conviction on their record. Under Michigan's newly amended HYTA law, those age 17 or older but less than 21 years old can get HYTA without the consent of the Prosecuting Attorney. Those age 21 to 24 must also have the consent of the Prosecution to get HYTA.

A Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree charge must be fought aggressively by a Detroit sex crimes attorney.

RELATED: Can I be convicted of Fourth Degree CSC based on just an accusation with no DNA or other evidence?

What is the Sentence for Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 4) in Michigan? Will I go to Jail or Prison for Fourth Degree CSC in Michigan?

The Michigan 4th Degree CSC law makes it a "misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both."

For Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct under MCL 750.520e, the risk of getting locked-up is slightly less than for First, Second, or Third Degree CSC. Whether or not you spend time behind bars for CSC 4th Degree will be a result of any criminal history and the circumstances of this new CSC 4 case. With the right defense, you can get Probation for Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.

This is all very overwhelming, but instead of focusing on how much time behind bars you could get, it is far more important to focus on aggressively fighting Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct charges with the right Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Lawyer.

At Prain Law, PLLC, we are willing to go above and beyond on your behalf regardless of the nature of your case, and we are well-versed in advocating for those accused of Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct under MCL 750.520e. Reach out to our trusted Detroit sex crimes lawyer! Contact the firm today by calling (248) 731-4543.

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