Articles Posted in Sex Crimes

“Sexting” is the practice of sending and receiving sexually charged and sexually explicit text, images, and videos. Sexting can be done via text message, email, through social media, or through other means.

Many different actions fall into the category of “sexting.” These include:

  • Knowingly possessing an image or video of a minor engaged in sexual activity or posing in a sexual manner;

In Michigan, the age of consent is 16 years old. A child younger than 16 cannot consent to sexual contact, even with another minor. Adolescents age 16 and older may consent to sexual contact with all others over the age of 16, except for in certain circumstances.

When an individual engages in vaginal, anal, oral, or digital penetration with a minor who cannot consent to sex, he or she may be charged with statutory rape. This offense is also known as criminal sexual conduct.

In Michigan, There is No Romeo and Juliet Law

One big defense is, “I didn’t do it. I’m not guilty.” Many times there can be a situation where a person consented at the time and regretted it later for different reasons and made up the accusations. A lot of times there are things that happen where the truth is in between guilty and not guilty. Every case is factually unique. It is really important that the defense counsel develop the facts as best they can in favor of their client to try and get the best results.

Another common defense, not only in these types of cases but in all types of criminal cases, is demonstrating that the prosecution cannot prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant is innocent unless proven guilty, not innocent until proven guilty, so the prosecutor has the burden of showing that all of the different elements of the crime have been satisfied. Sometimes the best defense is arguing and proving that a prosecutor cannot prove the case in all the required ways. Occasionally, there is scientific evidence that the defense might be able to use, whether it’s DNA or lack of DNA, which can be a determining factor for innocence.

Most sex crime defenses come down to the common sense approach for what makes somebody innocent or somebody guilty.

In Michigan, the age of consent is 16. In some of these situations, statutory rape is called a Romeo and Juliet crime. If the parents of a young girl find out that their daughter is having sex, no matter how consensual it is and no matter whether the boy is close in age or not, he can be charged with promiscuity, which is very serious. That particular type of situation is usually looked at a little bit differently by the judge or the prosecutor, but it is still a very serious crime. It is sexual assault, and it has to be handled very carefully. This is a very dangerous thing, and everyone needs to explain to their kids how risky this can be.

What Happens If An Alleged Victim Recants Allegations Of Sexual Assault?

If the allegations are recanted by the victim, it becomes very difficult at that point for the state to proceed. It then depends upon the evidence and whether the defendant or the accused made any statements incriminating themselves. In other words, does the state need the victim’s statement in order to proceed because sometimes what happens is that the prosecutor feels like the victim is lying when they come forth and they are recanting.

Sex crimes committed in Michigan are all public record and can be found, but whether or not it appears in a local newspaper really depends upon the particular town, the police department and its newsworthiness, especially if the defendant is somebody well known in the community. But in many cases it just goes through the system and doesn’t get any public attention. Clearly, the more serious the charge, the more likely it is that word will get out about it

How Would You Advise Clients That Are Worried About Hiring An Attorney As It Makes Them Look Guilty?

There is no reason to fear hiring an attorney, as an admission of guilt, because the attorneys who practice these types of cases completely understand the importance of somebody contacting them. It’s just as important if you are innocent as if you are guilty. Sometimes, people call up and argue that they know they are guilty. Maybe they already know that there is evidence that will show up, but still there are some very wide ranging things that can occur that can affect the outcome of these cases, and attorneys want to work with them from the very beginning to minimize problems for them. It’s possibly even more important for somebody who is not guilty to contact an attorney early on because these cases can quickly go in a bad direction if the accused is caught off guard.

Being accused of a sex crime is a very stressful and scary time in a person’s life when they may feel like the world is against them. The most important thing a person can do if they even suspect they might be charged with a sex crime is to contact an experienced attorney immediately. During this trying time, a lawyer who has successfully handled sex crime cases will be the one person you can rely on to help you through this difficult process and make sure you receive justice in the case. Finding the right defense attorney for sex crimes requires diligent research and keen observation.

Find a Specialist

While some attorneys handle any case they come across, there are those who specialize in handling sex crimes. These attorneys have often spent years honing their knowledge of sex crime laws and putting them to practice in the court room. Finding a specialist such as this ensures the client will have the best representation possible.

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