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Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree

Ann Arbor Lawyer Defending People Charged With Sex Crimes

Sex crimes, like criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, are generally considered the most egregious acts a person can be accused of committing, and people accused of such offenses often fear as if they have no options for avoiding a conviction. There are many phases of criminal proceedings between an arrest and a verdict, however, and even if the state charges a person with a crime, it does not necessarily mean that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to establish guilt. As such, if you are charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree or any other sex crime, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney to discuss your options for pursuing a favorable outcome. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a skillful Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney dedicated to helping people accused of sex crimes defend their rights and reputation, and if he represents you, he will advocate zealously on your behalf.

The Prosecution’s Burden in Establishing Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree

Pursuant to the Michigan Penal Code, there are numerous acts that constitute criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, all of which involve sexual penetration. For example, it is considered criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for one party to engage in sexual penetration with another individual if the individual is under the age of 13, the penetration happens during the commission of a felony, if the actor has a weapon, or the victim reasonably believes they do, or the actor uses force or coercion to accomplish penetration.

It is also considered criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for a person to partake in sexual penetration with a party who is between the ages of 13 and 16 if they are the actor’s relative to the fourth degree, live in the same household as the actor, attend a school the actor works or volunteers at, or if the actor is in a position of authority over the party, and used the authority to coerce the party to submit. Finally, in certain situations, it is criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for people to engage in sexual penetration with parties that are mentally incapacitated or incapable, or physically helpless.

Regardless of what grounds the charges against a defendant arose out of, the prosecution’s burden of proof is the same. Namely, it must establish that the defendant committed each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the prosecution must set forth evidence that weighs so heavily in favor of the defendant’s guilt that a reasonable person could not come to any conclusion other than that the defendant committed the charged offense. If the prosecution cannot meet this burden, the defendant should be found not guilty.

Rights of People Accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree

Unlike the prosecution, criminal defendants do not bear a burden of proof and do not have to offer evidence to establish their innocence. In many instances, however, they can assert arguments demonstrating that the charges against them should be dismissed, either due to procedural violations or a lack of evidence. For example, if the police violated the defendant’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during the investigation, any incriminating statements made by the defendant may be deemed inadmissible. Similarly, if the police conducted a search without a warrant or exceed the scope of a warrant, it may violate the defendant’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, and the evidence found during the search may be deemed inadmissible.

Talk to a Capable Ann Arbor Attorney

Michigan staunchly prosecutes criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, but the prosecution faces a high burden of proof in criminal matters, and it often fails to meet that burden. If you are charged with a sex offense, it is advisable to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a capable Ann Arbor criminal defense lawyer who is proficient at helping people accused of crimes seek good outcomes, and if you hire him, he will set forth compelling arguments in your favor. Our office is located in Ann Arbor, and we frequently represent parties in criminal proceedings throughout Michigan, including cities in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Dearborn, and Flint. You can reach us via our online form or by calling us at (734) 883-9584 to set up a confidential and free conference.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Sam was a helpful lawyer who is a man of his word. He helped in our cases 2 times in a row with successful outcomes. I could not think of a better lawyer who is always on time to court, good attitude, smart, and honest. He is respectful and answers all of the questions we had. Two cases were both a success thanks to Sam Gigi
★★★★★
It has been a couple of days since Sam represented my son in Washtenaw County. He gave me the miracle I prayed for. He did way more than I thought was possible and as I told him on the phone I would hug him if I could. If you ever need a good lawyer, this guy is the one to hire – and his prices are very very reasonable. I wish him much prosperity and a good life. He made my life happy for the first time in a long time and I cannot thank him enough. Linda
★★★★★
Sam took my call and consulted me immediately. He provided fair pricing for the legal services I was requiring. I hired him about a week before my case, he still took on the case load and did amazing work. He is an excellent attorney and a friendly person to be in the court room with when you’re in a stressful situation. Devon