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Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Lawyer

Fighting Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges in Michigan

Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) charges are unlike any other criminal charge in Michigan. There is usually bias surrounding sexual assault and other sex crimes – regardless of guilt or innocence. Additionally, CSC charges include unique laws and court procedures, including special rules of evidence, Rape Shield motions, and many more. CSC cases also have a higher-than-average likelihood of going to trial, and penalties on par with homicide charges.

When you are facing such serious charges, and your life and future are on the line, you need a lawyer who focuses on criminal sexual conduct cases. Fortunately, you’ve found Michigan criminal sexual conduct defense attorney, Brian J. Prain and Prain Law, PLLC.

Our firm and founding attorney have the knowledge, skill, training, and experience to pursue the best possible results in your case. We have obtained not guilty verdicts in even the most serious CSC cases, and we can help you, too. With our focus on CSC cases, hard work, attention to detail, and history of successful jury trials, we are ready to handle your defense.

What Past Clients Have to Say About Our Attorney's Defense

  • “Words cannot adequately express the attention, care, compassion, and work that Mr. Prain demonstrated throughout this entire ordeal.”
  • "He is someone who puts his heart and soul into the case he works on."
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Read more about what our past clients have to say about our Michigan criminal sexual conduct lawyer by visiting our Testimonials page.


No matter how insurmountable your obstacles may seem, contact Prain Law, PLLC today, and learn how our Michigan criminal sexual conduct lawyer can help you during a free, no-obligation consultation.


Possible Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges

Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) charges in Michigan are often more serious than homicide. Split into 4 “degrees,” Michigan’s Criminal Sexual Conduct laws include penalties as harsh as life in prison without the possibility of parole. If you are convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct, the likelihood of going to prison is very high. Other consequences include having to register as a sex offender, lifetime GPS tether, HIV/STD testing, and more.

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 1)

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan (First Degree CSC) is the most serious of the Michigan Degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct because it carries up to life in prison, consecutive sentencing, lifetime electronic monitoring (tether), and of course, a lifetime of Sex Offender Registration on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry (SORA).

  • The Law: MCL 750.520b
  • Penalty: Life in State Prison, possible Life without Parole, possible minimum 25 years, Lifetime GPS tether
  • Sex Offender Registration: Lifetime public registration, quarterly reporting (Tier 3)

Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 2)

Compared to the other Michigan degrees of criminal sexual conduct, second degree criminal sexual conduct falls in the middle with a 15-year maximum sentence similar to third degree CSC, though it is defined and treated differently for sentencing. Second degree CSC is less serious than first degree CSC but more serious than fourth degree CSC.

  • The Law: MCL 750.520c
  • Penalty: 15 years in State Prison, possible Lifetime GPS tether
  • Sex Offender Registration: Lifetime or 25 years public registration, quarterly semi-annual reporting (Tier 2 or Tier 3, depending)

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 3)

CSC 3 always contains an act of "sexual penetration," and it includes (but is not limited to) what is often referred to as common-law "rape."

  • The Law: MCL 750.520d
  • Penalty: 15 years in State Prison
  • Sex Offender Registration: Lifetime public registration, quarterly reporting (Tier 3)

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 4)

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan ("CSC 4") is a "high court misdemeanor" which essentially means that the law calls it a misdemeanor, but it is punished as a felony. Every Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct case is based on some form of "sexual contact."

  • The Law: MCL 750.520e
  • Penalty: 2 years in State Prison and/or $500.00 fine
  • Sex Offender Registration: Lifetime, 25 or 15 years public registration (depending on age of Complainant), quarterly, semi-annual, or annual reporting (Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3, depending)

Assault With Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct Involving Sexual Penetration

A conviction of Assault With Intent to Commit Sexual Penetration is a felony offense that may cause you to go to State Prison for up to 10 years or more if you've previously been convicted of any other felony. You will also have to register as a sex offender.

  • The Law: MCL 750.520g
  • Penalty: 10 years in State Prison
  • Sex Offender Registration: Lifetime public registration, quarterly reporting (Tier 3)

Assault With Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree

  • The Law: MCL 750.520g
  • Penalty: 5 years in State Prison
  • Sex Offender Registration: Lifetime, 25 or 15 years public registration (depending on age of Complainant), quarterly, semi-annual, or annual reporting (Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3, depending)

Accosting, Enticing or Soliciting a Child for Immoral Purposes (Accosting a Minor for Immoral Purposes)

If you are convicted of accosting, enticing or soliciting a child for immoral purposes you will be required register on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, most likely for a period of 25 years. This is considered to be a felony offense.

  • The Law: MCL 750.145a
  • Penalty: 4 years in State Prison and/or $4,000.00 fine
  • Sex Offender Registration: 25 years public registration, semi-annual reporting (Tier 2)

Gross Indecency

Gross indecency involves committing sexual acts in a public place. A conviction of Gross Indecency in Michigan can result in a sentence of up to 5 years or higher in State Prison depending on the circumstances.

Child Sexually Abusive Material (and Child Sexually Abusive Activity)

Possession, distribution or production of child sexually abusive materials can result in up to 20 years in Prison and a $100,000.00 fine, depending on the circumstances.

  • The Law: MCL 750.145c
  • Penalty: 4, 7, 0r 20 years in State Prison and or a $10,000, $50,000, or $100,000 fine, respectively, depending on whether the alleged offense involves knowing possession, distribution, or production of the Child Sexually Abusive Material.
  • Sex Offender Registration: 25 or 15 years public registration, annual or semi-annual reporting (Tier 1 or 2, depending)

Indecent Exposure and Aggravated Indecent Exposure

Committing an act of indecent exposure can result in up to 1 year in Jail, up to a $1000.00 fine or even sex offender registration. If you are facing charges for indecent exposure, our Michigan criminal sexual conduct lawyer can help.

  • The Law: MCL 750.335a
  • Penalty: 1 year in Jail and/or a $1,000 fine (Indecent Exposure); 2 years in Prison and/or a $2,000 fine (Aggravated Indecent Exposure)
  • Sex Offender Registration: Possible 15 years public registration (Tier 1)

Understanding Michigan’s Process for Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges

The process for criminal sexual conduct charges in Michigan begins when someone reports a sex crime. The alleged victim may speak to the police directly, a doctor or therapist may be legally required to report the incident, or a concerned third party may speak up on their behalf.

After receiving this kind of report, the police investigate and collect evidence, including DNA, a Rape Kit, and witness statements. The police may also ask to interview you, but you should never speak to the authorities without an attorney present.

If prosecutors feel like they have enough evidence against you, they will request a warrant for your arrest and file formal charges against you. Sometimes, law enforcement will allow you to “turn yourself in,” and other times, they will arrest you at your home, workplace, or anywhere else you spend time.

Then, you will appear in your local District Court during an arraignment, where your charges will be read to you and your bail (bond) will be set. After you’ve been formally charged and had the opportunity to get out of jail while awaiting your trial, you and your lawyer will attend a probable cause conference where attorneys will discuss your case with the judge.

The next step is a preliminary exam, which is like a mini-trial before the trial. This hearing is extremely important, and if opposing counsel cannot prove probable cause to the judge, some charges could be dropped.

If the case proceeds, you will complete an arraignment on the information in Circuit Court and enter a formal plea. Attorneys will then exchange information during “discovery,” and file special documents (like Rape Shield Act notices) that apply to your case.

Before you appear in court, you will attend pretrial conferences, where you may be offered plea deals and other ways to settle your case. You and your legal team may also attend motion hearings to admit (include) or suppress (exclude) evidence.

Once both sides know exactly what evidence they will be working with and what offers are on the table, you will attend a final settlement conference where you decide whether you will accept a plea deal or go to trial.

If you reject the plea deal and choose to move forward, you will be tried by a jury and receive a verdict. If you accept the plea deal, you will enter a plea. If you plead guilty or receive a guilty verdict, the final step is sentencing.

At Prain Law, PLLC, you can rest assured that we will advise you of your options and fight for the best results, every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

If you’ve been charged with something as serious as criminal sexual conduct, you likely have many questions. Our team is here to provide answers. Read our FAQ below, and if you still have questions, call us at (248) 731-4543.

How Common Are Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges?

In 2015, more than 6,000 victims reported various degrees of criminal sexual conduct to Michigan law enforcement agencies. Although not every report leads to arrests and charges, many of them do. Criminal sexual conduct charges are shockingly common, so you should always get clear and freely given consent before engaging in sexual activity.

Do Prosecutors Use DNA Evidence in Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases?

Yes, prosecutors use DNA evidence in all kinds of criminal sexual conduct cases. While DNA evidence is more common in cases that involve a “Rape Kit,” prosecutors can pull DNA evidence off blankets and other materials in cases that only involve alleged sexual touching. If the prosecution uses DNA evidence in your case, you need an attorney who knows how to respond to and challenge this kind of evidence.

How Will My Lawyer Defend Me from Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges?

To defend you from criminal sexual conduct charges, your lawyer will either deny the allegations entirely or clarify what happened during a sexual situation. Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney may question the alleged victim’s credibility or show the absence of force or coercion in an alleged instance of criminal sexual conduct. Misunderstandings happen, but not every unpleasant sexual experience is grounds for a criminal sexual conduct charge. Unfortunately, some alleged“victims” also lie about criminal sexual conduct. Your lawyer will ultimately defend you by clarifying the facts of your case and presenting the truth to the judge or jury.

How Will the Michigan Rape Shield Law Affect My Case?

The Michigan Rape Shield law might prevent your legal team from bringing certain evidence into the courtroom. For example, we cannot discuss the alleged victim’s sexual history unless the victim has made prior false allegations of sexual assault or has a bias or ulterior motive for making a false allegation.

Whether or not the Michigan Rape Shield law will affect your case depends on the details of your situation. Speak to our attorneys about bringing in relevant evidence and creating the best possible defense.

Should I Take a Polygraph Test?

No. Generally speaking, you should not take a polygraph or “lie detector” test, especially if you are innocent. The results of a polygraph test are inadmissible in criminal trials, so taking the test is unlikely to benefit you in any way.

Although taking a private polygraph test might help you negotiate with prosecutors, law enforcement personnel often use polygraph interviews as an opportunity to get your guard down and gather incriminating evidence against you. Essentially, there are more ways a polygraph test could go wrong than ways the test could benefit you, so we advise our clients NOT to take polygraph tests and to focus on building their courtroom-approved defense instead. Read our blog to learn why, and know that Prain Law, PLLC prepares you for trial from day one.

How Do Bail and Bonds Work in Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases?

Bail and bonds are case- and defendant-specific, so the terms of your bond or the amount of your cash bail will depend on the circumstances of your unique situation. You may enter a personal recognizance bond and pay $0 or pay the court millions of dollars to wait for your hearings and courtroom proceedings outside of jail.

The court and judge will also influence how much your bail and bonds are, so you need a lawyer who is familiar with local courts and legal professionals.

Talk to us about your bond today and read our blog for more information about what your bond might be.

​​​​​​Facing Criminal Sexual Conduct charges? We can help you navigate the complexities of your particular situation. Contact our Michigan criminal sexual conduct attorney by calling (248) 731-4543.

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