Perhaps, no other criminal offense causes more disgust amongst the general public than rape. Therefore, those who are accused of a sex crime, like rape, are often treated unfairly. Though all criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty, in the court of public opinion, these individuals might be deemed guilty by many before they have their day in court.
This prejudgment can be frustrating and cause damage to an individual’s reputation. The outcome of the criminal matter can either lead to further negative consequences for an individual or redemption.
Those who are facing rape charges should therefore prepare as solid of a criminal defense as they can. The first step in doing this is to understand the laws applicable to the case at hand. Once this is accomplished, then a criminal defendant can see how his or her case is situated and where the weak points are in the prosecution’s case.
So, what are the rape laws in Michigan? First, it is worth noting that Michigan’s legal system refers to rape as criminal sexual conduct.
Under state law, there are differing degrees of criminal sexual conduct, with first degree being the most serious. This offense occurs when there is penetration and the victim is younger than 13, is between the ages of 13 and 15 and has a blood relation to the perpetrator, there were multiple individuals involved in the commission of the offense, there was force or coercion involved, the victim suffered personal injury or the perpetrator was in the commission of a felony at the time.
The lesser degrees of criminal sexual conduct have differing elements, but can be penalized harshly. Punishment for a criminal sexual conduct conviction can include life in prison and registration on the sex offender registry. With so much at stake, then, those accused of such a crime should carefully consider their legal options and whether a criminal defense attorney can be beneficial.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Michigan Rape Laws,” accessed on May 6, 2016