Penalty for Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan - Avoiding Prison

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan, as defined in MCL 750.520d, the Michigan Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct law, is punishable by "imprisonment for not more than 15 years." If you are convicted of CSC Third Degree, you will also be placed on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry (SORA) for life. There are limited exceptions to these rules - see our Third Degree CSC Main Page for further details.

Before we get into the Details of Third Degree CSC, you should know that Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct laws are broken-down into 4 basic "Degrees":

If you were to read the Michigan CSC 3 law as it is on the books, that's all the information you'd get. But the reality is that each case (meaning cases where there is actually a conviction - more on that below) is sentenced on an individual basis, and one of the things your Judge would look at are the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines, a mathematical formula that suggests what your minimum sentence should be, while the maximum is at the discretion of the Michigan Department of Corrections Parole Board, up to the maximum of 15 years.

RELATED: Click here for detailed information on the Criminal Sexual Conduct Court Process in Michigan, including the Probable Cause Conference.

It is a fact of life that in most cases, even for those with zero criminal history, the Sentencing Guidelines suggest a minimum sentence that includes time in State Prison. A person convicted of Third Degree CSC cannot simply receive Probation and no incarceration in Michigan. However, the Sentencing Guidelines are only suggestive to the Judge - not mandatory, but that could go in your favor or against it. But luckily for you, the analysis doesn't end there...

As a Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney, I am often asked the question "Will i REALLY go to Prison for Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan? How can I avoid Prison if I am charged with CSC 3?"

In other words, what they're really saying is that either because of other Third Degree CSC cases they've heard about or perhaps just a general sense of disbelief, they have formed a belief that being charged with CSC 3 does NOT mean they need to end up in Prison - and they're correct. With the right defense, it is very often possible to avoid Jail and Prison for Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (or I should say, when you are charged).

RELATED: should I take a Polygraph for Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?

So let's not belabor the point any longer - if you are facing charges for Third Degree CSC in Michigan (which includes common-law "Rape" and much more), your Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Attorney needs to help you do one of three basic things (or, more likely, a combination thereof) in order to avoid Jail or Prison:

  1. Go to trial by Jury (or Judge, if you decide, but we don't recommend it) and achieve a verdict of NOT GUILTY of Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. If you are found NOT GUILTY, there won't be any Sentence to speak of in the first place - you go back to life as usual, or as close to usual as it can be after a traumatic, life altering, potentially reputation damaging experience like this.
  2. Secure a plea deal with the Prosecution, either to a lesser Degree of Criminal Sexual Conduct, a different Sex Crime, or some other crime for which the Sentencing Guidelines do not require Jail or Prison, and/or for which Michigan law allows Probation, such as Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, Gross Indecency, or Misdemeanor Assault / Assault & Battery, etc.
  3. Secure a plea deal along with what is known as a Cobbs Evaluation from your Judge or a Sentence Agreement, where the terms of your Sentence are set forth before you give any plea. If you go to trial and are found guilty of CSC 3, you cannot get a Cobbs Evaluation or Sentence Agreement any longer.

Are you or someone you care about facing 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct charges in Michigan? If you’ve been contacting Law Offices seeking advice and representation, you already know that there are no shortage of lawyers out there willing to take your money – and plenty of it. But the sad truth is, there are relatively few lawyers out there who truly the goods to really get the job done. What is much more common are empty promises and major letdowns. Countless accused people have given their life savings to fast-talking lawyers who made big promises in the office, but later crumbled in court, only to tell them that things weren’t going to work out as predicted, and now they should just “take a deal."

So why call Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Attorney Brian J. Prain of PrainLaw, PLLC? Just read what Brian‘s past clients have to say about him. But Brian‘s clients aren’t the only people who endorse his tireless effort and trial skills. Michigan CSC Defense Attorney Brian J. Prain does nothing but handle Criminal Sexual Conduct and Assault cases. Brian is dedicating to giving people accused of these crimes a real defense that actually produces the desired result. Brian has been honored as one of the Top Lawyers for 2019 by DBusiness Magazine, one of the Top 21 Criminal Defense Lawyers by, and has been featured in Super Lawyers Magazine and HOUR Detroit. On top of being one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Michigan by the NACDA, Brian was most recently named as one of DBusiness Magazine's Top Lawyers.
Call PrainLaw, PLLC anytime at 248-731-4543, or contact us via email using our email contact farm here.

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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.