Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree (MCL 750.520c(1)), also known as CSC 2nd Degree, is a very serious charge in Michigan. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree always involves some form of sexual contact. The penalties for 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, upon conviction, are severe:
CSC 2nd Degree carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison. If the Defendant has a prior felony record, the maximum penalty and sentence guidelines can increase as a habitual offender. A Defendant convicted of this offense is probation eligible, however the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines may require some form of incarceration unless the sentencing Judge deviates from the guideline range.
Under Michigan law (MCL 750.520c(2)(b); MCL 750.520n(1)), when CSC 2nd Degree involves a Defendant who is 17 years or older and an alleged victim under the age of 13 years, the Court must sentence the Defendant to lifetime electronic monitoring upon conviction. Lifetime electronic monitoring involves a GPS tether device worn by the offender at all times which tracks and records his or her location.
CSC 2nd Degree is classified under Michigan Sex Offender Registration as a Tier II Offense, unless the alleged victim is under the age of 13 years. In this instance the offense becomes a Tier III Offense.
Tier II Sex Offenses place the offender on a public registry for 25 years. The information must be verified by the offender at least 2 times a year. Tier III Sex Offenses places the offender on a lifetime public registry. In addition, both Tier II and Tier III Sex Offenders must also report to law enforcement whenever he or she buys a vehicle, establishes an email address, changes their name, changes employment, enrolls in a college or university, or changes his or her residence for more than 7 days. The system links with the Michigan Secretary of State database to provide a photograph of the offender. Failure to Register as a Sex Offender is a crime that is regularly prosecuted in Michigan.
Hence, a conviction for CSC 2nd Degree is a life changing event. Experienced criminal legal representation is a necessity for anyone accused of this crime. The attorneys at Hilf & Hilf, PLC have extensive criminal trial experience and have previously successfully defended Criminal Sexual Conduct allegations.
The offense of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree (MCL 750.520c(1)) involves some form of sexual contact with the alleged victim allegedly by the Defendant that can be reasonably construed as being for purposes of sexual arousal or gratification, done for a sexual purpose, or in a sexual manner for revenge, to inflict humiliation, or out of anger. This must be combined with any one of the following circumstances:
1) The alleged victim was under the age of 13 years at the time of the sexual contact;
2) The alleged victim was at least 13 years old but less than 16 years at the time of the sexual contact, and the Defendant was wither a member of the same household as the alleged victim, was related to the alleged victim by blood or affinity to the fourth degree, or the Defendant was in a position of authority over the victim and used this authority to coerce the victim to submit.
3) The sexual conduct occurred under circumstances that also involved the commission of a felony;
4) The Defendant was aided or abetted by 1 or more persons any knew or had reason to know that the alleged victim was mentally unable to consent (due to age, mental retardation, etc.), mentally incapacitated (due to intoxication, date rape drug, etc), or physically helpless (in a coma, quadriplegic, etc.) at the time of the alleged sexual contact.
5) The Defendant was aided or abetted by 1 or more persons and the Defendant used force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact, and was assisted by another person who either did something or gave encouragement to assist the commission of the crime.
6) At the time of the sexual contact the Defendant was armed with either a weapon, an object that was capable of causing physical injury that the Defendant fashioned as a weapon, or an object used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe it was a weapon.
7) The Defendant caused personal injury to the alleged victim and the Defendant knew or should have known that the alleged was mentally unable to consent (due to age, mental retardation, etc.), mentally incapacitated (due to intoxication, date rape drug, etc), or physically helpless (in a coma, quadriplegic, etc.) at the time of the alleged sexual contact.
8) The alleged victim was mentally unable to consent (due to age, mental retardation, etc.), mentally incapacitated (due to intoxication, date rape drug, etc), or physically helpless (in a coma, quadriplegic, etc.) at the time of the alleged sexual contact and either the Defendant was related to the victim by blood or affinity to the fourth degree or the Defendant was in a position of authority over the alleged victim and used that authority to coerce the alleged victim to submit.
It is not uncommon for an individual to be falsely accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree. Many common motivators to lie about criminal sexual contact include a mental disorder, the hope to gain sympathy, bias or hatred, financial gain, child custody and parental rights issues, and/or to not lose face in one’s community. Any false allegation for Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree must be defended with the utmost vigilance. Possible defense to 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct include, but are not limited to, consent (as long as the Defense is not viable due to age, relationship, or mental or physical disability), reasonable doubt, the alleged victim is not credible, alibi, statute of limitations, and insanity.
Anyone accused and/or charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct should first exercise their right to remain silent and second hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer, such as the lawyers at Hilf & Hilf, PLC, as soon as possible after the accusation for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree is made for the following reasons:
A police officer or a detective that attempts to question you is more often than not looking to build a case, and not looking at the case with an open mind or in a balanced manner – even if he or she tells you otherwise. Statements taken by police officers or detectives are often taken out of context, and can and will be used against you in Court. The police officer or detective will often try to scare you into making a statement by telling you that if you don’t say anything they won’t have anything to take to the prosecutor on your behalf. Your statement to law enforcement (or to anybody) in this context, by and large, will not help you in any way. Any experienced criminal defense attorney will tell you to remain silent, and consult with your lawyer before you take any steps or make any statements;
You have a better chance of receiving a reasonable bail or bond through effective legal representation.
The experienced criminal defense lawyer can prepare the case for preliminary examination to work for possible dismissal, lay the groundwork for possible motions, develop testimony to impeach witnesses, and develop defenses for trial;
In some instances passing a polygraph examination (lie detector test) will lead to a dismissal or reduction in charges. Your lawyer can make arrangements for a polygraph examination to occur. Be mindful that there are a lot of risks with taking a polygraph test, and you should never agree to take a polygraph test without first consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer;
You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to prepare and conduct the trial to give you the best chance of winning. The Prosecution needs to see that your attorney is not going to surrender, and will fight the case vigorously on your behalf;
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can file motions and/or conducting evidentiary hearings, when appropriate, in order to possibly: gain dismissal of charges; exclude improperly obtained statements from the Defendant; suppress evidence that was illegally seized; and/or challenge the ability of the prosecutor to introduce prior act testimony at trial. The ability to control the evidence introduced at trial can greatly improve the chances of ultimately gaining acquittal;
If you plan to plead guilty to a Criminal Sexual Conduct offense, the experienced criminal defense lawyer can work to achieve the best result through possible plea bargains, possible Cobbs or sentencing agreements, persuasive lawyering, and optimal scoring of the Michigan Sentence Guidelines. The experienced criminal defense lawyer can provide advice as to whether entering a plea of guilty to Criminal Sexual Conduct or a reduced charge is in your best interest. Every case is different, and whether or not the factors in this paragraph apply depends upon the prior criminal history, the facts of the allegation, the position of Prosecutor's office, and the Judge assigned to the case.
Sometimes in life you only have one opportunity to obtain the right result.
Hiring the right criminal defense lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your family. There are many lawyers who claim to do more than what they are able - just as there are many surgeons in the world that are no better than butchers. Do not settle for a legal hack job. Practicing law is a skill that develops over time with experience, commitment, dedication, and God given talent. There are no amateur attorneys at Hilf & Hilf, PLC– only experienced professionals that are guided by the humanity in the individuals we serve, and the drive not to settle for what is easy over what is right