Michigan Rape Lawyer

Few allegations that a person may face under the state’s penal code are as serious and life-altering as those involving rape in Michigan. Rape charges occur when someone is accused of having sexual intercourse with another person against their will. This can include circumstances where the complainant claims force is used, that they were unable to consent due to intoxication, or if they claim they were asleep or blacked out. These allegations are felonies, and a conviction for this crime can permanently change an individual’s life.

Since this crime is so severe, a person facing rape charges needs to act quickly to protect their reputation and freedom. Even a simple accusation of criminal sexual conduct can damage a person’s livelihood and career, so it is important to try and get out ahead of these critical events.

If you are facing these charges, a Michigan rape lawyer may be able to help. An attorney will work to mount a powerful defense in court and use their knowledge of this area of law to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.

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Being accused of a sex crime can often seem very different from other types of crimes.

At Smith Blythe, we often find that the legal presumption of innocence doesn’t exist in the same way that it does in many other cases. This is for a variety of reasons, including the high stakes and severe penalties that can arise, as well as the he-said/she-said manner of these types of sexual charges.

To fight these charges, it’s important to have experienced legal defense that understands criminal sexual conduct charges in Michigan, their definitions, and the potential consequences.

The Laws in Michigan that Prohibit Rape

Rape is a term that is used to describe unwanted sexual intercourse. However, it is important to note that the term rape itself does not appear in any of the state’s penal codes. Instead, the State Legislature has used the term “criminal sexual conduct” to describe any illegal sexual activity.

With this in mind, there are two versions of criminal sexual conduct that fall under the umbrella of the traditional concept of rape. These are the two charges that occur when penetration is alleged – and penetration can be penile/vaginal, oral sex, and digital penetration.  Most people do not realize that an allegation of “fingering” is treated the same way as the traditional concept of rape.  The law includes other circumstances that can make charges of first degree and third degree criminal sexual conduct apply.  These are:

  • Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, outlined under Michigan Penal Code § 750.520b. This statute covers any act involving penetration where the alleged victim is a child under the age of 13 or a member of one’s family. It can also include situations where a defendant is in a position of power over the other person.
  • Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. This offense involves sexual penetration with another person accomplished through the use of force or coercion. It can also involve penetration with a person aged between 13 and 16. There are additional circumstances that can even extend the age of the complainant beyond 16 – for example, if the alleged victim is a student of the accused.

A rape attorney in Michigan from our office can certainly provide more information about the concept of criminal sexual conduct and explain how the law treats  the common definition of rape. We can also assist individuals to better understand which of the laws could apply and govern their accusations.

A Conviction for Any Version of Rape Comes with Severe Consequences

Allegations of rape are always felony-level offenses. However, the exact punishments possible after a conviction will depend upon a variety of factors.

Identifying the statute under which a person is facing charges is the first indicator of the severity of a case. First degree charges can carry a penalty of imprisonment of any term, including a life sentence. In cases that involve complainants who are under 13, each charge carries a mandatory 25 year minimum. If a person is convicted of multiple first degree criminal sexual conduct counts from the same series of actions, these 25 year mandatory minimums can be stacked to 50, 75, 100 years and beyond. By contrast, a third degree offense carries a maximum prison term of 15 years. Fortunately, it may also be possible to argue that mitigating circumstances should convince the court to impose a less harsh sentence. There are also very specific options our office can help you understand when the accused is a young person up to the age of 26.

Of course, it is always preferable to avoid a conviction at all. A Michigan rape attorney should be prepared to mount a strong defense on behalf of any person facing allegations of this crime. Our office is well-versed and experienced in using a variety of legal tactics and strategies. We are familiar with how to question alleged victims to show motives and bias to make false claims. We are always prepared to questioning the validity and reliability of the scientific evidence in the case, whether that be DNA evidence, physical injuries to the complainant and forensic evidence. When you hire a lawyer at Smith Lehman, the first thing we give our clients is a long article Shannon Smith wrote for other lawyers – to teach them the strategies that win rape cases in Michigan.

If you are accused or charged with any of these types of sexual crimes, it is not something to take lightly, and you should consult a Michigan rape defense attorney as soon as possible.
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A family member was involved in a false accusation of a sex crime against a minor child. When it became obvious that we needed a real expert in this area, we went looking (hundreds of miles away) and found the very best! Ms. Smith is experienced, knowledgeable, a leader in this area, and she provided excellent guidance and support through every step (and delay) of a very complicated legal system. Her expertise protected an innocent person from what might have been an unfair and unjust outcome. We are so grateful for her availability, support, and personable manner in handling an emotionally difficult period and proving and providing an outcome of innocence.”
~ Prior Client
A family member was involved in a false accusation of a sex crime against a minor child. When it became obvious that we needed a real expert in this area, we went looking (hundreds of miles away) and found the very best! Ms. Smith is experienced, knowledgeable, a leader in this area, and she provided excellent guidance and support through every step (and delay) of a very complicated legal system. Her expertise protected an innocent person from what might have been an unfair and unjust outcome. We are so grateful for her availability, support, and personable manner in handling an emotionally difficult period and proving and providing an outcome of innocence.”
~ Prior Client
Contact Smith Lehman today

If you are accused or charged with any of these types of sexual crimes, it is not something to take lightly, and you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. Our team at Smith Lehman is ready to help you develop a strategy to defend your case and combat allegations. Give us a call at (248) 636-2595 so that we can get started today.

Fill out the form with the details of your situation to get started.

    Are you a new client? Yes, I am a potential new client.No, I am a current existing client.I'm neither

    Contact Smith Lehman today

    If you are accused or charged with any of these types of sexual crimes, it is not something to take lightly, and you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. Our team at Smith Lehman is ready to help you develop a strategy to defend your case and combat allegations. Give us a call at (248) 636-2595 so that we can get started today.

    Fill out the form with the details of your situation to get started.

      Are you a new client? Yes, I am a potential new client.No, I am a current existing client.I'm neither