Sex Crimes

Michigan Attorney Fighting for People Facing Prosecution

Although most criminal charges should raise concern, sex crimes are typically viewed as more heinous offenses than other acts. A conviction for a sex crime can have lifelong ramifications, and it is vital for people accused of engaging in unlawful behavior of a sexual nature to understand their rights and potential defenses. If you are accused of a sex crime, it is smart to retain an attorney who can assist you in fighting to protect your freedom and reputation. Ellen K. Michaels is an accomplished Detroit sex crime lawyer who will advocate zealously on your behalf. She represents people throughout the Detroit metro area, including in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, and Monroe Counties.

What Constitutes a Sex Crime in Michigan

In Michigan, any crime that involves a sexual motive or behavior is considered a sex crime. Thus, a wide range of behavior falls under the umbrella of sex offenses, including prostitution, indecent exposure, and internet sex crimes.

Many illicit acts are charged as Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC). There are four degrees of CSC in Michigan. First-degree CSC is the most serious offense. In cases involving first-degree CSC, the prosecution must prove that the defendant sexually penetrated the victim and that one other factor listed under the statute was present. For example, perhaps the victim was under a certain age, or perhaps the defendant used a weapon, drugs, or force to compel the victim to submit, or was in the process of committing a felony when the conduct occurred. Second-degree CSC involves sexual contact, rather than sexual penetration, that occurs under any of the circumstances enumerated in the statute for first-degree CSC. Third-degree CSC involves sexual penetration of a victim who is between the ages of 13 and 15 or incapacitated, or involves force or coercion, and fourth-degree CSC involves sexual contact under the same circumstances. In any of these cases, you should immediately consult a sex crime attorney in Detroit to defend your rights.

First-, second-, and third-degree CSC are felonies, while fourth-degree CSC is a misdemeanor. A person convicted of first-degree CSC may face up to life in prison, while those convicted of second- and third-degree CSC may be sentenced to up to 15 years of imprisonment. Fourth-degree CSC carries a penalty of up to two years in prison. People convicted of sex crimes are often required to register with the Michigan Sex Offender Registry as well.

Defenses to Sex Crime Charges

People charged with sex crimes do not need to offer any evidence of their innocence, since the burden of proof rests solely with the prosecution at criminal trials. In other words, the State must prove each element of the crime with which the defendant is charged beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that a rational person presented with the evidence in the case could come to no other conclusion than that the defendant is guilty.

Although people charged with sex crimes do not need to set forth defenses, in some instances, it may be beneficial for a Detroit sex crime attorney to offer evidence that the defendant did not commit a crime. For example, in crimes involving forceful behavior, a defendant who can present evidence that the activity was consensual may be able to avoid a conviction. Notably, however, consent is not a valid defense in cases involving minors or other individuals who lack the ability to consent. In some instances, a defendant may be able to offer evidence that he or she did not engage in any sexual activity to demonstrate that the accusations that he or she committed a sex crime are false. You need a criminal attorney that will advocate for your proper defenses in any of these circumstances.

Speak to a Trusted Criminal Defense Lawyer

A conviction for a sex crime can permanently harm a person’s liberties, reputation, and relationships. If you are accused of a sex crime, it is essential to speak to an attorney about your potential defenses. Ellen K. Michaels is a trusted sex crime defense lawyer with the knowledge and experience needed to obtain successful results, and if you engage her services, she will diligently pursue the best outcome available in your case. Attorney Michaels’ offices are located in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, and West Bloomfield, and she regularly defends people charged with sex crimes in Macomb, Wayne, Oakland, and Monroe Counties, and throughout Southeast Michigan. You can contact Attorney Michaels through the form online or at (248) 202-3345 to set up a free meeting with a sex crime lawyer in the Detroit area.

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I hired Ellen Michaels to represent me after I was charged with retail fraud 3 in Livonia. She was wonderful to work with...


Ellen represented my daughter when she received an MIP. She not only fought for a full dismissal, which she was able to get...


Ms. Michaels fought for me every step of the way. She was smart and tough. I was so grateful to have her fighting for me. I...


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