Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree
While many acts of sexual misconduct result in felony charges, others are considered misdemeanor crimes. For example, people who engage in certain sexual touching may be charged with criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree. Merely because a crime is charged as a misdemeanor does not mean it should not be taken seriously, as convictions for misdemeanor charges can permanently impair a person’s rights and standing in their community. If you are charged with a misdemeanor sex crime, it is smart to meet with an attorney to assess your options. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a skilled Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney who is proficient at helping people seek favorable outcomes in criminal matters, and if you hire him, he will work tirelessly on your behalf.Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) in the Fourth Degree Under Michigan Law
In Michigan, CSC 4th degree is a misdemeanor offense that carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $500. An actor will be guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree if they engage in sexual conduct with another person if that person is at least 13 but under sixteen, and the actor is more than five years older than the person, or if the actor works at the person’s school if the person is a student who is at least 16 but less than 18, or a student who receives special education and is at least 16 but less than 26.
An actor will also commit CSC 4th degree if they use coercion or force to achieve sexual contact with another individual or engage in sexual contact with a person who is mentally or physically incapacitated. Using surprise or concealment to engage in sexual contact with another person is criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree as well. Finally, it constitutes criminal CSC 4th degree for an actor to engage in sexual contact with a person they are related to by blood or affinity or for a mental health professional to engage in sexual contact with a patient during treatment or within two years after.Defenses to Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree Allegations
At criminal trials, the prosecution must establish each element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a guilty verdict. In other words, they must show that a rational person, when examining the evidence of record, could only conclude that the defendant committed the crime in question. If the prosecution cannot meet its burden of proof, the defendant should be found not guilty.
Criminal defendants, conversely, do not have to establish their innocence at trial and are not required to offer any evidence in their favor. In some instances, though, it may make sense to set forth a defense. The precise defenses available will vary depending on the facts of the case. For example, they may argue that the prosecution failed to prove one or more elements of the crime, and therefore, the prosecution’s arguments must fail. In other cases, they may be able to offer evidence that shows they could not have committed the alleged crime, such as DNA evidence or proof that they were in another location at the time the offense occurred. They may also be able to call the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses into question.Talk to an Experienced Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree Ann Arbor Attorney
A conviction for a sex crime can not only result in significant penalties, but it may also change the trajectory of a person’s life. If you are accused of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree, it is in your best interest to talk to a lawyer about your rights. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is an experienced CSC 4th degree Ann Arbor criminal defense lawyer who possesses the skills and knowledge needed to achieve favorable results in criminal matters, and if you hire him, he will aggressively pursue the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. We have an office in Ann Arbor, and we frequently represent people charged with crimes throughout Michigan, including cities in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Dearborn, and Flint. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at (734) 883-9584 to set up a confidential and free consultation.