Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan - Preliminary Exam

Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan - Criminal Defense Attorney Brian J. Prain Discusses the Preliminary Exam...

Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan - perhaps the most serious group of criminal charges a person can face. The harsh prion sentences, GPS monitoring, being placed on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, and the stigma that comes with a conviction make Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan ("CSC") perhaps more serious than homicide charges. CSC crimes in Michigan are divided into four "degrees," First Degree CSC, Second Degree CSC, Third Degree CSC, and Fourth Degree CSC.

Following Arraignment and Probable Cause Conference, the next hearing for Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan is the Preliminary Examination. The Preliminary Examination is critical to the way your case turns out. The Preliminary Exam is like a "mini trial" - the Prosecution calls witnesses to the stand, there is cross-examination, objections, and arguments. But there is no Jury, and the Prosecution doesn't have to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt - they only have to demonstrate the much lower standard of "probable cause" for the case to go to the next stage. The person who accused you of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan will take the witness stand, and your attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine them, along with any police officers or detectives who investigated the case (and sometimes a medical practitioner or other special witnesses). You and your CSC Defense Attorney may decide to call your own witnesses, even witnesses who are on the Prosecution side.

Here's the issue with the Preliminary Exam in a charge Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan: many lawyers tell their clients to "waive" the Preliminary Exam, whereby, instead of having the hearing where witnesses testify, they go on record and "agree" that there is provable cause to believe that you committed the Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan. Then, the case is "bound-over" from the District Court to Circuit Court. Doing it this way is less work for the lawyer, but you lose out on critical things that can help your case later on, including:

  • An opportunity to "feel out" how the Prosecution witnesses will present on the witness stand, most importantly the alleged victim of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan.
  • An opportunity to "lock down" the testimony of the Prosecution witnesses, which allows much better planning for trial on charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan.
  • Where the Prosecution has a relatively weak case, the opportunity to put up a fight and let them know that you have a competent, prepared Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney who isn't backing down.
  • The opportunity to produce a transcript of the sworn testimony of the Prosecution's witnesses, so that if they try to tell a different story later, they can be "impeached."
  • The opportunity to argue at the end of the Preliminary Exam that the charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan should be dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge.

If you are facing a charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan, hiring an exceptional Criminal Defense Attorney could mean the difference between keeping your freedom and going to prison for decades. At Prain Law, PLLC we aggressively defend those accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan. Contact Prain Law, PLLC at (248) 731-4543. Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Defense Attorney Brian J. Prain has been featured in Super Lawyers Magazine and HOUR Detroit Magazine, has been rated Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers, Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, has received the AVVO Client Choice Award 2 years in a row, and more.


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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.