Criminal Sexual Conduct Fourth Degree - Another NOT GUILTY for Brian J. Prain

Earlier this summer, Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney Brian J. Prain knocked it out of the park again with another NOT GUILTY on all counts Jury verdict in a Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree charge. In this article, we sit down with Brian and discuss Michigan Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct laws and his recent Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) acquittal for his client.

JB: Can you give us a rundown about what the case was about?

BP: Sure. Well, I’m going to keep it on the surface and got not get too specific out of respect for the privacy of my client and the difficulty of the situation that they had to go through. But suffice it to say that my client was charged with multiple counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree (CSC 4).

JB: What county was this particular case it?

BP: For the same reasons, I’d rather not say. If someone would like to know more information about it, I’d be happy to share on a one-on-one basis during a consultation. For now, I’ll just state that this case was tried in Metro Detroit.

JB: I see. What are the penalties for Criminal Sexual Conduct a4th Degree in Michigan? What was your client facing had you not been there to win the acquittal for him?

BP: Officially, 4th Degree CSC in Michigan is punishable by up to 2 years in State Prison. But what the likely sentence is in any particular case is going to be influenced most by how the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines apply to that particular case. Sentencing Guidelines take into account a person’s past criminal history and the specific facts and circumstances involved in the individual case. A little time has passed and I’ve been busy, so I don’t remember what the exact guidelines were in this particular CSC case.

JB: Do you have to register as a Sex Offender if you are convicted of Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan?

BP: Yes, you will have to register as a Sex Offender if you are convicted of CSC Fourth Degree in Michigan. Now, that registration maybe either public or non-public, and either for 15 years, 25 years, or lifetime depending on the circumstances of the case. There is quite a range in how the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA) applies to 4th Degree CSC.

JB: I see. Can you briefly explain the definition of Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan law?

BP: Honestly, I probably can't do it briefly!. For a much more detailed explanation of all of the different things that can meet the definition of Fourth Degree CSC in Michigan, I would definitely recommend that you visit our main page for Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree in Michigan.

To ask "What is Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?" is like asking “What is a Chevrolet?“ Well, it’s a lot of things. A Chevrolet on a basic level is an automobile. It’s a car, but sometimes it’s also a truck. Often times, it’s red, but it could also be blue or any number of other colors. Michigan Sex Crimes laws are kind of like that. Let me try to explain…

All Sex Crimes in Michigan, including your common law definitions of “Rape,” "Child Molestation," and “Sexual Assault “ all generally fall under the broad category of crimes known as “Criminal Sexual Conduct“ (CSC). CSC is broken down into four basic "degrees of CSC." The degrees are separated by whether they involve just "sexual contact" or actual "sexual penetration," as well as how serious the circumstances are. Each of the four main degrees of CSC contains a list of different circumstances that can cause either a sexual touching or penetration to fall within that degree. These are called “multiple variables.” The penalties for each degree range in seriousness. Then, there also are other types of Michigan Sex Crimes that are not called “Criminal Sexual Conduct,” but they still fall under the category of Sex Crimes, like Indecent Exposure, Gross Indecency, Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes, and others.

Anyways, I’m getting off track. Basically, Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree in Michigan means unlawful “sexual contact," but without penetration, either by force or coercion, some other multiple variable, or other circumstance that makes it criminal. It’s too much to explain here. . Is that detailed enough for now?

JB: Absolutely. If anyone wants to know more they can visit that CSC 4 main page. But in this particular trial, what exactly was your client accused of doing?

BP: Again, I don’t want to give a lot of details here. But basically, he was accused of having unlawful sexual contact by force against several women by force or coercion. It was a "typical" CSC 4 in that sense, but the facts were rather unusual. I'm not going to say more than that here, but I will say that he was charged with multiple counts of CSC 4.

JB: What is your client doing now that he was acquitted of Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?

BP: Living his life. It's the greatest feeling in the world to make someone's problem like this go away like it never happened. He's now back to his normal life. No more court dates. No more waking up worrying about Jail, Prison, Sex Offender Registration, losing his job, his good name, etc. This was all just a bad dream now. This is the gift I want to give to every accused person who hires me.

JB: What was the hardest part about the case? Something that you wouldn't have been able to overcome if you didn't have the experience you have?

BP: Two things. Number one, there were several eyewitnesses who went to the Police claiming to have witnessed what my client allegedly did. At the outset, there didn't appear to be any reason why they would make up a story. Number two, one of the eyewitnesses later came out claiming that my client had sexually assaulted her in a similar fashion as well. The Prosecution filed legal paperwork trying to introduce this second accuser's claims against my client at this trial, as what they call "other acts" evidence under the law - alleged conduct that the Defendant is not charged with and on trial for, but that the Prosecutor wants the Jury to hear so they'll be more likely to convict. There were a lot of hurdles to overcome.

JB: So how did you win the case? What allowed you to pull through?

BP: Simple - the same things I always rely on - hard work and extreme, extreme attention to detail, whether the case is simple and straightforward, or a mess of lies and false accusations and complications like this particular one. If there's any chance that I'm different than other Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Lawyers or just Criminal Defense Lawyers in general, I'd like to think - and I don't say this arrogantly - but I envision more scenarios that will come up than the average lawyer does and I have my responses planned out in advance. When I cross-examine and accuser or Prosecution witness, every sentence, every word, is written out and planned in advance.

JB: Doesn't that take forever?

BP: Yes, whereas I often see other Defense Attorneys kind of "winging it," I may spend hundreds of hours getting ready even for a simple case. That's why I take very few cases at a time, and I will work through the night if I have to, for as many nights as it takes to get the result. A friend of mine recently told me that I was nuts because she says I do more preparation for a simple or small case than many lawyers do for a murder case. Well, if that's true, then maybe I am a little crazy, and some of the work definitely ends up being unnecessary, but my attitude is that Iam not going to lose! I refuse to be beaten!

JB: Well, just don't forget to eat and sleep every once in a while,

BP: Ha! Thanks, "Mom." Speaking of eating, I've got to meet a client for lunch to discuss his upcoming trial.

JB: Okay, take care and enjoy what's left of summer.

BP: You do the same and I thank you for your time and effort. Have a good one.

Facing a Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charge? Call Prain Law, PLLC any time at (248) 731-4543 for a no obligation, free, and informative consultation. Our consultations are actually meaningful conversations where we provide valuable information, not 5-minute sales pitches for the purpose of "quoting" you a price. Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney Brian J. Prain of Prain Law, PLLC has earned dozens of awards and honors for his trial work, including being named one of the 21 Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Detroit by, a Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and as a Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Michigan by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

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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.