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Grand Rapids Rape Lawyer

Aside from murder, there are not many crimes that conjure the same levels of public scorn and potentially profound punishment as that of rape. Because offenses of this nature are so personally devastating to individuals, the Michigan legislature and prosecutors across the state take them extremely seriously.

Because the sanctions that follow a conviction are so stringent and life-altering, anyone facing a charge in this realm must promptly enlist the help of a Grand Rapids rape lawyer who can advocate on their behalf. An experienced defense attorney can help you protect your rights and reputation going into court.

Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan

Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) is the term used in Michigan to encompass offenses related to assault and battery of a sexual nature. The legislature has delineated four distinct degrees of CSC in order to address a full range of unlawful activity.

In the first, second, and third degree will be categorized as a felony, while CSC in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor. The classification is determined in large part by the identities of the parties involved and the circumstances under which the activity occurred.

Among the relevant factors in determining which degree of CSC is likely to be charged in a given case are things such as:

  • Whether penetration occurred
  • Whether coercion or force was used
  • The age of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator
  • How many actors were involved in the alleged activity
  • Whether additional injury occurred
  • Whether the alleged victim was incapacitated/unable to provide consent

Sentencing Convicted Defendants

There can be no doubt about the fact that the penalties likely to be issued in the event of a rape conviction in Michigan are extremely onerous. For those found guilty of CSC in the first degree, life imprisonment and lifelong mandatory inclusion on the sex offender registry as outlined by MCL 28.729 may be imposed. CSC in the 2nd degree can bring upwards of 15 years’ imprisonment along with mandatory registration, as is also the case with a CSC third conviction. Even a conviction of CSC in the fourth degree can result in two years in prison together with costly fines.

Defense Strategies in Rape Cases

Anyone who has ever been accused of sexual assault will attest to the stress it may cause. Because the stakes are so high for those facing sexual assault charges, it is vital for defendants to promptly begin formulating a strong defense with a Grand Rapids rape lawyer. Adding to the complexity of CSC matters is the fact that, pursuant to MCL 750.520h, corroboration of an alleged victim’s testimony about the conduct in question is not required in order to secure a conviction.

Considering the above, there must be no delay in obtaining the insights and expertise of a legal practitioner who understands how to identify key weaknesses in witness testimony and credibility, punch holes in the state’s case and make effective arguments regarding consent wherever applicable. In this way, a seasoned attorney can work to secure reduction or dismissal of charges or, at the very least, a mitigation of the sanctions that follow a guilty finding.

Talking to an Attorney

A charge of rape is an inescapably life-changing event which must never go unanswered. The ramifications of conviction are often nearly impossible to overcome, and that is why a vigorous defense approach is critical. If you are facing prosecution for CSC in Michigan, a Grand Rapids rape lawyer is prepared to serve by championing your right to receive fair and equal treatment under the law.