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Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Lawyers

Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct 

Here in Michigan, the most serious sex crimes are called Criminal Sexual Conduct (“CSC”). Penalties can be absolutely devastating. For example, some first degree CSC charges result in up to life imprisonment without parole. Other punishments can include decades in prison, mandatory minimum 25-year minimum sentences, lifetime electronic monitoring (GPS tether) and/or public registration as a sex offender. Even if you are never found guilty, accused sex offenders face the lifelong stigma that can affect your current and future relationships, employment opportunities, and housing. 


Many of the most CSC charges are separated into four degrees: The first, second, and third degrees of criminal sexual conduct are all felonies. Felonies of this kind have a wide range of punishments from several years of imprisonment to a life sentence without parole.

Fourth degree CSC is a “high court misdemeanor” punishable for up to 2 years in prison or a fine of not more than $500. The term “high court misdemeanor” is misleading and deceptive. In all respects, CSC 4th degree is dealt with like a serious felony. Less common sex crimes include Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Penetration (attempted rape) in the first and second degree, as well as violations of Michigan or Federal Child Pornography Laws.

If you are accused of a sexual offense, it is absolutely vital that you retain an aggressive sex crime defense attorney with lots of experience fighting for people facing rape and other sex-based accusations. At The Kronzek Firm, our experienced criminal defense attorneys have a high rate of success in defending sex assault clients all over Michigan from CSC charges. It’s been 25 years since we brought back our first “not guilty” jury verdict in a rape trial here in Michigan.  

First Degree CSC

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is the most severe of criminal sexual conduct charges and carries a penalty of up to a lifetime in a prison with no chance of parole. 

First Degree CSC occurs when a person is guilty of engaging in sexual penetration with another person, accompanied by an aggravating “circumstance.” There are many of these special circumstances, but a few examples are:

  • The alleged victim was under 13 years of age
  • The perpetrator was armed with a weapon
  • The perpetrator was a member of the same household
  • The perpetrator used their status to establish a relationship with the other person

Read more about First Degree CSC.

Second Degree CSC

Second Degree CSC involves unwilling sexual contact with another person, which is a lesser standard than the First Degree CSC penetration requirement. Sexual contact is defined as the intentional touching of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. Like First Degree CSC, the sexual conduct must be accompanied by any number of special circumstances listed under the law.

This is an extremely serious felony carrying a possible penalty of up to 15 years as a guest of the Michigan Department of Corrections. Furthermore, a perpetrator is subject to lifetime electronic tether if the sexual contact was committed by a person seventeen years or older against an individual less than 13 years old.

Read more about Second Degree CSC.

Third Degree CSC

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is similar to First Degree CSC because it also involves the unwilling sexual penetration of another person accompanied by at least one qualifying circumstance. These circumstances are still very serious, while characterized as slightly less extreme than First Degree circumstances.

teenager looking anxious

Some examples include the alleged victim being at least 13 years of age but less than 16, the perpetrator had reason to know that the victim was mentally incapable or physically helpless, or the defendant used force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact.

Penalties are still very severe – a Third Degree CSC felony could result in a prison sentence of not more than 15 years.

Read more about Third Degree CSC

Fourth Degree CSC

Fourth Degree CSC is like Second Degree CSC where it involves sexual contact. It’s an unwelcome touching. While technically a “high court” misdemeanor, it is still a serious sex crime offense. Courts treat such offenses like a felony sex crime, despite penalties being significantly less severe. Penalties for Fourth Degree CSC include up to 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $500.

A CSC 4th degree assault is like a CSC Second Degree but without the special aggravating circumstance. A common situational example is when a person is in a position of authority in their workplace and is accused of touching someone without that person’s consent.

Read more about Fourth Degree CSC. 

Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Penetration First & Second Degrees

Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Penetration in the First Degree is a felony in Michigan involving sexual penetration. It is more commonly known as, “attempted rape.”

To constitute an assault, there must be an attempt by an actor to commit a forceful, violent or offensive penetration of someone or the intent to make the victim reasonably fear a forceful, violent or offensive touching. Convictions are serious, carrying a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment. 

Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Penetration in the Second Degree is also a felony involving sexual conduct. Similar in nature to Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Penetration in the First Degree, penalties may include imprisonment up to 5 years, and depending on the age of the other person, registration on the sex offender registry.

Read more here: Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct.

Michigan Child Pornography Laws

Under Michigan Law, child pornography, or “kiddie porn” is called “child sexually abusive material” (CSAM). Generally speaking, it involves an image or recording of a minor person engaged in sexual intercourse, erotic fondling, masturbation and/or other activities. Such charges involving CSAM include creating, enticing, distributing or possessing child pornography. 

There are sometimes defenses to state child pornography charges, many of which require a computer or medical expert. Every defense requires an effective and highly experienced trial attorney.

Read more here about Michigan Child Pornography Laws.

Federal Child Pornography Laws

cyber hacking illustration

Federal child pornography tend to be more serious than state child pornography charges. For the federal government to be involved, it must have jurisdiction.

One way for jurisdiction to arise is when child pornography crosses state lines in “interstate commerce.”

This threshold is easily passed in a case involving the internet, where state boundaries can be crossed instantly and repeatedly. A defendant accused of a crime involving child pornography is commonly prosecuted in federal court and could be in addition to state prosecution.

Read more here: Federal Child Pornography Laws


Sexting is the practice of sending sexually explicit text messages to others. This practice is becoming more and more common but is problematic when the sexual image is of a person who is under the age of 18.

Under Michigan law, a 17-year-old female who consensually takes a sexually erotic photo of herself and sends it to her same-aged boyfriend could be charged with multiple CSAM felonies including creation, distribution, and possession of CSAM. There is also likely to be an additional charge of using a computer to commit a crime. Convicted offenders can be subjected up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $100,000 or both.

Read more about sexting here. 

Sex Offender Registry

Everyone convicted for sex crimes in Michigan is required to register on Michigan’s public sex offender registry.

The registry is a computerized database that includes photographs, complete physical descriptions, blood type, a summary of convictions for listed offenses, and more.  Purposefully failing to register is a felony crime punishable by imprisonment for up to 4 years and/or a $2000 fine. Further consequences for registered individuals include reporting the change of addresses to authorities or maintaining their registry for life.

Fortunately, there are some limited opportunities for individuals to get off the registry. While there are many intricacies that go into making that determination, The Kronzek Firm attorneys are extremely knowledgeable in assisting people’s removal from the Michigan sex offender registry. It is incredibly important to hire the right lawyer the first time because the sex offender law states that once a judge denies a petition for removal, the offender cannot file any more petitions – resulting in registry for life.

Read more about Michigan Sex Offender Registration here. 

Sexually Delinquent Person

Sometimes the court will identify someone as a “sexually delinquent person.” This label cannot be attached to an individual without a conviction for an underlying sex crime and is used as an alternative sentencing provision or sentencing enhancement.

Such underlying crimes are various, including gross indecency, indecent exposure, sodomy or bestiality. This term will be applied in situations in which there is a compulsive disregard for other people’s rights, refusals to acknowledge consequences, and more.

Read more here about Sexually Delinquent Persons.

Don’t give up hope!

Here at The Kronzek Firm, we are proud of our many successful case results over the decades. We have won trials where the government touted DNA experts from the Michigan State Police Crime Laboratory. We have won trials where children testified against our client.

We have won cases where children were manipulated into giving false testimony. We have exposed false allegations. For more information on how we help clients facing Criminal Sexual Conduct charges, visit

Your Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorneys

Many lawyers have never even tried a CSC case, let alone won the trial. Our attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have tried these cases all over Michigan and achieved excellent results, including numerous “not guilty” verdicts. We take an aggressive stance on defending our clients, which includes hiring high-quality expert witnesses and investigators to help with the case. Winning rape or sex assault trials requires lots of hard work, tons of experience, and years of training. 

We don’t judge a client for what they’re accused of doing. Every person in the US is entitled to the best criminal defense they can afford, and that’s what we provide. Decades of trial success has proven that hiring the right attorney is critical. Contact us immediately for an initial consultation: We can be reached at 866 7NoJail or (866) 766-5245

More Information on Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges in Michigan

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