Michigan Date Rape Lawyer
Modern dating and “hooking up” requires extra caution when interacting with potential new partners. All sexual contact or the steps toward this contact must include the consent of the other party. The law says that any unwelcome sexual contact is illegal, and the resulting criminal charges have the potential to damage your reputation and diminish your personal and professional prospects.
Allegations involving date rape are particularly serious. This can include situations where one party accuses another of unwelcome sexual intercourse through the use of threats or chemical substances. Our office has represented a number of clients who are accused involving claims of having no memory from the night something happened. Convictions of this crime can result in felony penalties such as incarceration and registration as a sex offender.
A Michigan date rape lawyer like the lawyers at Smith Lehman will help you if you are facing allegations of unwelcome sexual conduct or criminal sexual conduct charges. As qualified legal professionals, we can explain the laws that govern your case, gather evidence concerning the event, and present powerful defenses in and out of court.
Date Rape Under State Law
“Date rape” is not specifically labeled under the state’s penal code. However, the conduct that is generally define as date rape is considered illegal. According to Michigan Penal Code § 750.520d, it is against the law for any person to have sexual intercourse with another when the actor knows that the other party is physically helpless. This incapacitation can be the result of intoxication due to alcohol consumption or drug use. A violation under this statute is a felony that can result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Allegations that a person had sexual intercourse through the use or threat of force are even more serious, and raises the stakes to a life offense. The charges if threats or force are used would be criminal sexual conduct in the first degree under state law. A Michigan date rape attorney from our office can easily explain the nuances in these laws, how they may apply to a particular case during an initial consultation and explain possible tools for a defense.
Promoting Defenses Against Allegations of Date Rape
Allegations involving date rape include scenarios where one person appears to take advantage of another after meeting under mutual consent, whether that be a true date, or just an experience after meeting at a party. When sexual contact or penetration occurs that does not have the consent of both parties, this is clearly a violation of the law. Many of the cases are “he-said-she-said situations, however, and our office knows how to approach date rape allegations.
Naturally, a common defense in these cases involves demonstrating that the other party consented to the sexual contact or sex acts. Collecting evidence is important early on: who saw the complainant that night? Are their text messages that show the acts were consensual? Is there video that shows the accused and the complainant together prior to the alleged events. In fact, we have experience defending cases where the actual alleged rape is videotaped.
Of course, one strategy we do not often employ is to contest whether the sexual contact or sexual activity occurred at all. Because the state of mind of the accused is what truly matters, we have defended a number of people who were falsely accused. When a complainant cannot remember what happened, it is important that the defense conduct its own investigation and put the pieces together to explain what really happened. If a complainant truly does not remember periods of time, sometimes the strategy is to attack the reliability of information in the case, and accept the possibility that the complainant truly does not know what happened. This is an important distinction that our office focuses on in date rape cases. We have many resources, ideas, and a lot of prior experience to mount a defense strategy that bears the best chance for success.
Contact a Michigan Date Rape Attorney Today
Allegations involving date rape have the potential to impact every part of your life. Not only will a criminal conviction result in harsh penalties, but the mere allegation of sexual misconduct could damage your reputation in the community and your career. The sooner you call our office, the more we can typically do. Date rape allegations are not ones where the accused should just sit back and wait. This is the worst thing you can do.
Let a Michigan date rape lawyer from Smith Lehman take the lead in protecting your future. We will work to explain the relevant laws, hear your side of the story, and put a defense into action designed to shield your freedoms. Call our office today to learn more about your legal options.