Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree
While consent is a defense to many sex crimes, there are certain people that lack the legal capacity to consent; as such, engaging in sexual activity with them may result in criminal charges. In many instances, people who commit such acts are charged with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. Simply because consent is not a valid defense for criminal sexual conduct in the third degree does not mean that no defenses are available, though, and it is important for anyone accused of such offenses to speak to an attorney promptly. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a capable Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney who is mindful of the devastating impact of criminal convictions, and if you are charged with a sex crime, he will work diligently to help you protect your rights.Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree Under Michigan Law
Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree is the offense people are charged with for what is commonly referred to as statutory rape or having sex with a minor. Specifically, under the Michigan Penal Code, an actor commits criminal sexual conduct in the third degree if they engage in sexual penetration with another person who is at least 13 but not older than 16 or a person who is at least 16 but not older than 18 if the actor is an employee or volunteer at the person’s school. An actor can also be found guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree if they work or volunteer in a school and engage in sexual penetration with a person who is at least 16 but not more than 26 if the person receives special education services at the school. Sexual penetration accomplished via the use of coercion or force and involving a victim that is physically or mentally incapacitated or incapable is considered criminal sexual conduct in the third degree as well. Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree is a felony that carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to 15 years.Rights of Criminal Defendants
The Michigan and United States Constitutions afford people accused of committing criminal sexual conduct in the third degree numerous rights. For example, both Constitutions protect criminal defendants from self-incrimination. In other words, they cannot be forced to make statements or offer testimony that would implicate them in the charged offense or any other crime. The Michigan and United States Constitutions also provide that criminal defendants cannot be charged or tried more than once for the same offense.
Notably, criminal suspects are also protected against unreasonable searches and seizures under state and federal law. Accordingly, they cannot be arrested or detained absent a warrant or probable cause to believe they committed a crime. Similarly, the police typically need a warrant to search a person or their property. If the police have a warrant, they must not exceed the scope of the warrant when conducting a search. If they do, or search a defendant or place without a warrant, any evidence found during the search should arguably be inadmissible at trial.Talk to an Experienced Ann Arbor Attorney Today
People that are charged with sex crimes are often scared and anxious about their future, but many criminal defendants are ultimately found not guilty. If you are charged with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, it is wise to talk to an attorney about your rights and potential defenses. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is an experienced Ann Arbor criminal defense lawyer who can assess the facts of your case and develop a who is well-versed in what it takes to obtain favorable outcomes in criminal proceedings, and if you hire him, he will advocate aggressively on your behalf. Our office is located in Ann Arbor, and we regularly represent parties in criminal matters throughout Michigan, including cities in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Dearborn, and Flint. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at (734) 883-9584 to set up a confidential and free meeting.