Michigan

Sexual Consent and Rape Defense Lawyer

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.

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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.

How is rape understood in Michigan law?

The term “rape” is not considered a legal term in Michigan. On the contrary, rape, sexual assault, and sexual battery are all considered under the broader legal term of Criminal Sexual Conduct.

This means that many of the terms we use to discuss rape more broadly do not apply in these cases.

For example, the age of consent in Michigan is 16. Anyone who engages in sexual conduct with someone under the age of consent is charged with what is often considered statutory rape. In Michigan, however, this charge falls into one of the four degrees of criminal sexual conduct.

Understanding sexual consent

Despite the slight terminology differences with other states, these charges are still taken very seriously and penalized to the fullest degree if a conviction occurs.

For example, even though the legal age of consent is 16, teachers and school employees will be charged with criminal sexual conduct – even if the student consented to the sexual act. If the student didn’t consent, of course, the charge will be even more severe.

The same is true for people who engage in sexual conduct with minors in their family or who are under their authority or protection, including in the following positions:
  • Teachers (including after-school activities)
  • Coaches
  • Organization/club leaders
  • Doctors
  • Religious leaders
  • Therapists
  • Uber & Lyft Drivers
  • Teachers (including after-school activities)
  • Coaches
  • Organization/club leaders
  • Doctors
  • Religious leaders
  • Therapists
  • Uber & Lyft Drivers

Typically, the younger the victim is, the harsher the Michigan penalties will be.

What counts as a defense in regards to consent?

  • Consent
    Whether you can use consent as a defense in Michigan is a complicated issue. Lack of consent is not an element that the prosecution must prove against you. However, it could be used as a defense against certain charges that require force or coercion. To understand whether consent counts as a defense for your charge, you should consult with your attorney about the details of your case.
  • Romeo and Juliet
    Several states have created “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions for situations in which both parties in a sexual encounter are underage. In Michigan, these exceptions depend on the type of sexual encounter the teens had.
  • Age discrepancy
    There are also some situations in which the defendant didn’t know the age of the other party, or the other party lied about their age. Even if this is the case, this cannot be used as a defense against your charge.

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.

"
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 Blythe 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 Blythe 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 Blythe 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 Blythe 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