What is 4th degree criminal sexual conduct in Michigan?

4th degree criminal sexual conductCriminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree in Michigan is designated as a "Misdemeanor" under the actual Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree statute, MCL 750.520e. But the definition of "Misdemeanor" generally means punishable by 1 year or less in County Jail. But Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree (also called "CSC 4" for short) has a maximum penalty of "imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both." If that doesn't tell you how just how serious this crime is, consider the fact that a conviction means having to publicly register as a sex offender under the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act. In this article, we share some fast facts about Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree that any person facing this charge should know about. But if you or someone you know is accused of violating the Michigan CSC 4 law, you're better off contacting a Michigan Sex Crimes Defense Attorney for a free, no obligation consultation. Metro Detroit Criminal Defense Attorney Brian J. Prain has been nationally ranked a Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Under 40 by the NACDA, Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers, has appeared in major publications, is a graduate of the famed Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, and more. We believe you cannot find a harder working Criminal Defense Attorney or a better defense. To gain a thorough understanding of all aspects of this crime, it is recommended that you visit our main page for Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree. This article is designed to highlight a few things that may not be obvious after simply reading the CSC 4 law MCL 750.520e and doing basic research on the internet. In Michigan, Criminal Sexual Conduct charges are divided into 4 "degrees" (there are other Sex Crimes in Michigan, too). There is a fine line between Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree and the much more serious Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree. Why is this important? After the Probable Cause Conference and Preliminary Examination, if the evidence meets the definition of Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree, the Prosecutor could ask the Judge to amend the charges. A case that starts out as Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct could be elevated to a Felony carrying up to 15 years in Prison. We recommend that you call Prain Law, PLLC to determine if this is a possibility in your case. If so, the defense strategy must be modified. Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree isn't "rape" - it's just a touching, and the definition includes things that are completely innocent but misunderstood. It requires "sexual contact," which means intentional touching of certain areas of the alleged victim's body or making them touch those parts of your body, even while clothed. The touching must either be for a "sexual purpose" or could reasonably be construed as having been done for sexual purposes. You should read that again: it means you can be convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree for touching someone when in fact you had no sexual purpose at all, as long as other people might see it in a sexual way. Even if you are saying to yourself "I can't be guilty because I know it wasn't sexual," the fact of the matter is that you and your Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Attorney are going to have to look closely at the facts of your case and evaluate whether this possibility exists. Of course, that assumes there was a touching in the first place. Simply put, 4th Degree CSC is a common Assault and Battery, but of a sexual nature - the very definition of a Sexual Assault. CSC 4, with it's broad definition, is the type of crime that is very susceptible to false accusations. A would-be accuser with a motive to ruin your life knows all they have to do is say "he touched me," and off to Jail you go. No scientific evidence, no DNA, and most likely no independent witnesses. If you're lucky, there may be a witness in favor of the alleged victim whose story can be examined to fine inconsistencies with the alleged victim. It's a messy situation; Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree is a crime that requires little reliable evidence for a conviction, yet the penalties are extremely severe. The angry ex-spouse (or soon to be ex-spouse) looking for an advantage in divorce or child custody. The conniving co-worker who wants your job. The possibilities for a false accusation are endless. An excellent Michigan Sex Crimes Defense Attorney can help you AVOID JAIL and achieve a verdict of NOT GUILTY!!!
RELATED: read about how Michigan's "Rape Shield Law" can affect your CSC 4 charge...
Perhaps even worse than the up to 2 years you could serve in the County Jail is the time you could spend as a registered sex offender. At a minimum, a person convicted of Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct will be on the public Michigan Sex Offender Registry for a minimum of 15 years requiring annual verification (Tier 1). But if the alleged victim is older than 13 but less than 18 years old, it's 25 years on the Registry with reporting (also called "verification") two times per year (Tier 2). Worst of all, if the alleged victim is under 13, you'll be required to register as a sex offender for LIFETIME (Tier 3). This scenario could arise where someone is going through a divorce and is wrongly accused of committing Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree on their own child by their spouse in an attempt to get custody and alimony. Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree might be a "Misdemeanor," but unlike other Misdemeanor crimes like Domestic Violence and Aggravated Assault, it has life altering impact. Procedurally, it's treated exactly like a Felony charge, including the right to a Preliminary Exam. As you read this, valuable evidence that could help prove your innocence could be disappearing. Things can go one of two ways in a CSC 4 case - you can sit back and hope for the best, or you can find the hardest working Criminal Defense Attorney and aggressively defend against the charge.

At The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC, we aggressively defend those accused of crimes involving an element of Assault, including Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree. Call us anytime at (248) 731-4543.


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Prain Law, PLLC is focused only on the types charges featured on our website. This helps us deliver the decisive, effective advocacy for which our clients know us. We only serve individuals currently under investigation or who have a current case pending in court. Our firm does not represent injury victims, defendants who have already taken a plea or have been sentenced, or those seeking to expunge a criminal record. We do not respond to anyone who is not involved in a pending investigation or who has a court case for a type of charge we do not handle, but we wish you the very best of luck.