Allegations of criminal sexual conduct are some of the most emotionally charged and stigmatized crimes a person can face. The mere allegation of a sexual crime can be devastating to relationships with your family, your career, and your reputation. And a conviction for a sex crime can carry a lengthy prison sentence, hefty fines, and a requirement that you register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Someone convicted of a sex crime may also be required to wear a tether and be electronically monitored by the government after they are released from prison.
If you have been charged with criminal sexual conduct in Michigan, you need to hire an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. A criminal defense lawyer will protect your rights and your reputation, work hard to discredit the victim, and minimize the likelihood and impact of a conviction.
Many people mistakenly believe that they cannot be convicted of a sex crime if there is no ‘hard’ evidence—like a DNA sample, third-party witnesses, or video—against them. Unfortunately, to a prosecutor, the lack of ‘hard’ evidence simply does not matter. As long as the victim claims you engaged in unlawful sexual activity, you can be charged with and convicted of a sex crime in Michigan.
By their nature, most allegations of sex crimes are “he-said-she-said” situations where the accuser claims you did something wrong, and you claim you did not. And in today’s environment, most prosecutors will believe the accuser, even if the accuser’s allegations are the only evidence they have. Armed with mere allegations, the prosecutor can move forward with charges of criminal sexual conduct, and even secure a conviction, resulting in devastating and life-changing consequences for the accused.
But with the assistance of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney, you can defend yourself against allegations of criminal sexual conduct. And even in situations where the allegations are true, a criminal defense attorney can minimize the severity of punishment if you are convicted.
Under Michigan law, the prosecutor only needs an accuser to claim that they were sexually assaulted in order to secure a conviction. Michigan statute MCL 750.520h says that the testimony of the victim does not need to be corroborated in cases of criminal sexual assault. As a result, the accuser can take the witness stand, accuse the defendant, and, if the jury believes the accuser, the defendant will be convicted.
He-said-she-said situations are common in cases of criminal sexual assault. Because many accusers do not immediately report allegations of sexual assault, no additional evidence is collected. As a result, cases of criminal sexual conduct often come down to whether or not the jury believes the accuser.
To beat a charge of criminal sexual conduct, the defendant needs to undermine the credibility of the accuser.
Once the accuser has made allegations of criminal sexual conduct, law enforcement agents will act quickly to charge you with a crime and try to develop additional evidence that will be used to try to convict you. To combat allegations of criminal sexual conduct, you need to hire an attorney as quickly as possible.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can protect you from law enforcement agents who will investigate the case and try to secure evidence that will be used to convict you. Police officers may ask you to answer questions or even submit to a polygraph (lie detector) test. But a criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights and prevent law enforcement from obtaining additional evidence.
In addition, a criminal defense lawyer will gather evidence about the accuser that can be used to undermine their credibility. For example, a criminal defense attorney can investigate whether:
Criminal sexual conduct cases are emotionally charged, and mere allegations of criminal sexual conduct carry a particular stigma. And with so much of modern life taking place on the internet, anyone can learn about the charges against you with a few simple keystrokes.
To combat allegations of criminal sexual conduct and protect your reputation, you need an experienced attorney on your side who will challenge the allegations against you and fight for an acquittal. You need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who will defend you—not just in a court of law, but by defending your reputation in the community.
© 2021 Elmen Legal, PLLC — Ann Arbor, Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney