Sexual abuse is rampant in the State of Michigan and the potential to be falsely accused is high. False accusations can ruin your life and negative results from the proceedings can have life-long consequences. While you may want to assume that the truth will prevail in court, that may not always happen and you can’t leave your freedom or your future to fate.
If you have been falsely accused of sexual abuse, it is critical that you know the steps to take. The best place to start is to hire Bloomfield Hills criminal defense lawyer. An experienced lawyer can investigate the case, help you create a solid defense to protect your rights and prevent you from facing possible jail time.
What Does the Law Say About Sexual Abuse in Michigan?
Under the Michigan Penal Code Act 328 of 1931, a person is guilty of a third-degree felony of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) under the following circumstances:
- Engages in sexual penetration with another person who is at least 13 years but below 16 years, is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, and uses force or coercion.
- The victim is at least 16 years but less than 18 and a student, and the actor is a teacher, administrator, volunteer, or substitute teacher in the victim’s school.
- The victim is at least 16 years but less than 26 years and is receiving special education or services, and the actor is a teacher, administrator, volunteer, or substitute teacher in the victim’s school.
- The actor is a contractual service provider, employee, or a volunteer of a child care organization where the victim, who is at least 16 years, is a resident and the penetration occurs at the residency.
You may be falsely accused of sexual abuse when the victim wrongly identifies you. In other instances, the false reporting could be because of a situation where consensual sexual activity is misinterpreted as sexual assault. A person may also accuse you falsely because of their malicious intent. Whatever the case, contact skilled false accusation of sexual abuse lawyers in Michigan for legal representation.
What Are the Penalties for a Sexual Abuse Conviction in Michigan?
CSC crimes are categorized into four degrees depending on the severity of the crime:
- 1st Degree CSC: The offender engages in sexual penetration with a minor below 13. Additional circumstances could contribute to first-degree charges
- 2nd Degree CSC: The offender engages in non-penetrative sexual contact with a minor under 13 or between 13 and 16 in different circumstances
- 3rd Degree CSC: The offense involves forced penetration with the victim and depends on the age of the complaining witness
- 4th Degree CSC: The offender engages in non-penetrative sexual conduct with the victim
You risk jail time and hefty fines if you’re convicted even when the allegations are false. Remember, the accusation also earns you a bad reputation with long-lasting and life-changing implications. You will be registered on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry for 25 years or more, depending on the degree of CSC.
What Steps Should I Take When Falsely Accused of Sexual Abuse Charges in Michigan?
When charged with sex abuse claims, your reaction can enhance or destroy your chances of successfully defending yourself. Here’s what to do from a legal perspective:
Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent and to Stay Calm
Being accused of a sex crime is bad enough, even without a conviction. The accusation can take a toll on you physically and emotionally, and it’s only natural to try and fight back. Unfortunately, responding angrily can harm your case. Even if you feel justified to defend yourself verbally, you may say something that the police or defendant may use against you.
That’s why it’s crucial to stay calm and carefully think through the accusation and how you react. Avoid talking to the police or trying to clear your name even when someone, not your Bloomfield Hills criminal defense attorney, claims to support you.
Contact Michigan Sex Crimes Lawyers Immediately
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is going to trial without legal representation. As soon as you are aware of the accusation, contact a skilled false allegation of sexual abuse lawyer to counsel and defend you. Lawyers with many years of experience understand the motivation behind false accusations and can use the knowledge to fight for you in court.
Once you successfully defend yourself against false sexual abuse charges, a lawyer can also help you pursue compensation from the person who falsely accused you, if you’re interested in seeking damages.
Challenge the Accuser’s Credibility
The strategy your attorney will help you create is to challenge the credibility of the accuser and will depend on many factors, including the type of accusation. To effectively challenge the charge, you must take steps to educate yourself on the criminal justice system beyond the enormity of the trouble at hand.
Collect as much evidence as possible, gather witnesses to tell your side of the story, and work with your attorney to determine beforehand how everything might play out. Once you establish why the other person is falsely accusing you and what they stand to gain, your Michigan false accusation of sexual abuse attorney can determine how to reveal their incredibility in court.
Protect Your Reputation with Skilled Legal Advice
Sex crimes in Michigan attract hefty penalties. If you’re under investigation, you can’t afford to plead guilty, especially when you’ve been accused wrongly. Michigan false accusation of sexual abuse lawyer can aggressively defend you against the allegations using a multidisciplinary approach to get the best results possible.
You have a strong chance of clearing your name with the right strategy and legal representation. Our Bloomfield Hills sex crimes lawyers strongly believe there’s no such thing as a case too small. Every case deserves full attention and devotion of time, effort and energy, and that’s what our firm is committed to offering. If you are facing false charges, contact us for an initial consultation and we will defend you.