She is now 20 years old and finally had a DNA test done by the state of Michigan. He is determined to be the childs father.
If there are grounds to file charges then yes charges can be filed. Check with the prosecutor in your county and find out.
He could be liable for child support--if it's proven that he's the father--but five years later, I doubt there's a viable prosecution. Likely barred by statute of limitation because the pregnancy is no surprise five years later. What brought thus up suddenly?
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--Former Prosecutor--20 years experience.
If what you say is true, there would be grounds for charges and the statute of limitations would not be an issue in Michigan. Your sister may not want to prosecute and the choice should be hers. If she wants to see about filing charges, she should make an appointment with a detective in the jurisdiction where the conception occurred.
As an aside, attorneys who do not practice in Michigan should not answer questions here unless they familiarize themselves with Michigan's laws. Answering questions without a basic understanding of how Michigan law works, can be very dangerous to someone seeking advice in this forum.
Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer - Decades of Successful Experience - Disclaimer: Per the avvo.com community guidelines, no attorney/client relationship is created by the asking or answering of questions on this web site, nor do the answers constitute legal advice. Always hire an attorney before making any important legal decisions. Posting details of a case on avvo.com may be subject to discovery in criminal or civil litigation, so erring on the side of nondisclosure is wise.
I couldn't agree with Mr. Dickstein more.
First of all, this sexual incident is likely chargeable as First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. That charge would be based upon her age (13-15), coupled with an "injury" (the pregnancy). First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan is a capital offense, which means it is punishable by any term of years, up to and including life. Further, CSC1 does not have an applicable statute of limitations, so the charges can be brought at any time in the future. A DNA test and birth certificate is all the evidence a prosecutor needs.
Furthermore, please pay close attention to the attorneys answering the questions on this website. Every state has nuances to their laws, and error based on ignorance of those nuances can lead to disastrous results.
Please note by answering this question there is no attorney-client relationship formed. I am not your attorney. This answer is meant to be for general informational purposes. Your case has specific nuances that goes beyond what you wrote and what I answered and you must speak directly with counsel to advise you of your rights.
You have not provided enough information to get an accurate answer. Most of my colleagues are assuming that the sexual contact happened in Michigan. Since this is most frequently a matter of state law, we would want to know what law controls the answer before trying to answer the question. This jurisdiction question is based on where the crime occurred.
It is clear that if the crime occurred in Michigan, it can be prosecuted here. The question of what the charge would be also cannot be determined with the limited information provided. It would be important to know whether the sexual contact was "consensual" or not. In the truest sense, Michigan law does not allow a 15 year old to consent to intercourse or any other sexual contact. Nonetheless, there needs to be some additional issues beyond the fact that she was 15 to make this a CSC 1st degree.
"Consensual" intercourse with a 15 year old is most often charged as a CSC 3rd degree in Michigan. This is a 15 year felony. The usual context for a DNA test is that the issue of child support arose because the mother is on public assistance and the state is pushing the issue. This is yet another assumption based on the limited facts provided. However, assuming that this is true, the family needs to understand that a CSC 3rd degree conviction carries a mandatory prison sentence and is not probationable . This means that the child's father would spend some time in prison and not paying child support.
Another consideration is that children with a father on the sex offender registry sooner or later pay an emotional price for the public humiliation that comes with it. This is an unintended consequence that arises when the friends at school discover the SORA listing and begin to ask questions and sometimes even taunt or harass.
The family should also be careful about what your sister wants. It would be natural for others in the family to be angry and want to do something about this discovery. It would also be natural for resentment to grow if the family pursued options that she did not endorse. These are all things that should be carefully considered.
It is best to consider the next move very carefully. Below you will find a couple of links to my web pages that I thought might be helpful. These are written from the defense perspective but the information will help.
In answering this question, it is not intended that an attorney-client relationship is formed and the information is for general reference only. I am licensed in Michigan and Florida and offer no legal advice outside of those states.
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