Because of the lasting damage that many sex crimes create, Michigan courts and prosecutors seek long convictions for those accused of sex crimes.
If you’re facing allegations of involvement with sex crimes, it’s essential that you speak to a lawyer immediately. One of the biggest mistakes an individual can make is to assume they don’t need legal representation. While you may think your innocence will prevail, there have been many cases where the wrong person is put behind bars for a sex crime.
Using an experienced sex crimes defense attorney is the first step to ensuring that you remain out of jail. An experienced attorney can advise you on how to approach the situation and how to build your defense.
Don’t make the mistake of using a court-appointed attorney or representing yourself – there’s too much at stake if you’re facing sex crimes allegations. Our team at O’Keefe Law has years of experience defending individuals against charges involving sex crimes. We know what it takes to fight complex cases in the Michigan court system successfully.
Types of Sex Crime Accusations
There is a wide range of sexual crimes that people face charges for in the state of Michigan. Below we’ll explore some of the different accusations we have experience handling in court.
Sexual Assault (Criminal Sexual Conduct)
Sexual assault is an assault of a sexual nature. The severity of sexual assault and its punishment ranges depending on the nature of the crime. In recent years, Michigan started referring to sexual assault as criminal sexual conduct.
There are four degrees of criminal sexual conduct – each carries its own maximum sentencing and punishment guidelines.
Rape also falls under the criminal sexual conduct umbrella. It typically refers to a severe form of criminal sexual conduct that may involve penetration. Depending on the conditions of the rape, punishment for this offense is generally extreme.
Statutory rape involves sexual relations with a minor. Statutory rape typically indicates that sexual relations were not forced; however, the minor is not old enough to consent to sexual activities, and therefore the offense is considered rape.
Indecent exposure is the act of exposing naked areas of your body in a public or private setting (where the sexual exposure is unwanted). Speak to one of our attorneys if you have a question about an indecent exposure case.
Another allegation we often provide legal services for is date rape. Date rape accusations typically occur when two individuals meet, and an alleged rape occurs during the interaction. Many date rape allegations also include drugging or intoxication.
Child molestation is one of the most severe sex crime allegations in the state of Michigan. If you have child molestation charges brought against you, you need to contact an experienced attorney right away.
In certain instances, sexting is illegal. If you’re facing allegations of illicit sexting, speak to one of our attorneys about your current situation.
Internet Sex Crimes
As our world develops, online sex crimes are increasingly common. Illegal pornography, revenge porn, and a range of other online crimes are now treated very seriously by Michigan courts. Don’t take allegations about internet sex crimes lightly – contact our office today.
Both solicitation and prostitution are illegal in the state of Michigan. Solicitation is offering money for sexual activities, while prostitution is offering sexual activities for money. Contact our legal team today if you face charges of solicitation or prostitution.
If you’re a teacher, it’s illegal to engage in sexual activities with a student. The courts view this harshly because teachers have an authoritative role in a student’s life. This authority can mean harsher sentencing – contact our team today if you have problems with teacher/student allegations.
Sentences for Sex Crimes
Penalties for sex crimes depend on the severity of the crime, as well as other factors. Criminal sexual conduct has four different degrees. A first-degree charge can carry a lifetime of imprisonment, while a fourth-degree charge carries a maximum of two years.
The victim’s testimony, witness testimony, and other factors are all taken into account when deciding on punishment.
Fighting Accusations at a Federal Level
While most sex crime allegations occur at a state level, there are also instances where you may have to fight a federal court case. For example, if you’re accused of involvement in cross-border prostitution or illegal pornography dissemination, federal prosecutors may come after you.
If you need to defend yourself in court against federal sex crime charges, you need a criminal defense attorney with national experience. At O’Keefe Law, we’re one of the only Michigan law firms with extensive federal expertise. We can help you navigate complex crimes at the federal level with ease!
Damage to Reputation
While many lawyers focus on the direct punishment associated with sex crimes, there are many external issues you also need to consider. Even if you’re given a short prison sentence or a community service order, your reputation may never recover if you’re known as a sex criminal.
Sex criminals are often shunned by society and lose their ability to lead healthy lives. If you want to protect your reputation, you need to prove your innocence in a court of law. A ‘not guilty’ verdict is the best way to recover your reputation.
If you want to save your job and your family, it’s essential to fight against allegations in court. Even if the court doesn’t hand down a long sentence, a guilty verdict can ruin your life.
The Sex Offenders Registry
The Sex Offenders Registry provides public information on convicted sex offenders. While it helps
protect local communities, it may also ruin your life – even if you’re not a threat to society.
Once you’re placed on the registry, you often remain there for life. If you want to avoid a lifetime of denied jobs and restricted housing situations, it’s best to fight against your current allegations.
Removal from Registry
If you’re already on the registry, you probably know how much it impacts your life. Having your freedom and reputation destroyed can make it impossible to move forward after a conviction. But don’t lose hope – there are a few different ways you can remove yourself from the Sex Offenders Registry.
Courts will allow removal in certain instances. Common reasons include: your offense is no longer illegal, you’re no longer a danger to society or even a full appeal of your original crime.
Fight for a Fair Trial
Sex crime cases are typically extremely emotional, which creates many problems for both the prosecution and defense. If you face allegations of a severe sexual crime, the public and the court may subtly remove your ability to have a fair trial.
In reality, many defendants don’t realize what it means to have a fair trial.
At O’Keefe Law, one of our primary goals is to ensure that our clients are presumed innocent until proven guilty. We don’t allow prosecutors to treat you like a convicted felon; we put the responsibility of proving guilt back in their hands. Unfortunately, many people who use public defenders don’t benefit from this level of legal work.
A legal case is a fight – prosecutors will use every trick in the book to get a guilty verdict. It’s essential that you have someone in your corner that has the experience and expertise to provide you with an opportunity for acquittal.
Appealing a Sex Crime Conviction
If you want to appeal a sex crime conviction, the process is extremely complex. In many cases, sex crime convictions have been successfully overturned using thorough appeal processes. The United States Justice System has appeal trials to help protect people from unjust or incorrect convictions.
If you know you’re innocent, or you know that prosecutors made significant procedural errors in your case, it’s essential to begin the appeals process. You shouldn’t be sitting in jail for a crime you did not commit.
One of the most common reasons individuals win in an appeal case is through new evidence. A court is very likely to hear a case again if you can present new evidence. Over the past few decades, the development of DNA testing has increased the number of cases won on appeal.
If you have new evidence in your case, or you think that further testing may prove your innocence, get in contact with our attorneys today. Also, if you think you were not given a fair trial or were not represented fairly, you may also have a right to appeal.
Appeals are complex; you need to use a law firm that understands the nature of appeals courts. At O’Keefe Law, we take your future seriously. If you’ve been wrongfully convicted, we’re here to help you remove your previous conviction.
Choosing the Right Criminal Defense Attorney: The O’Keefe Law Approach
Don’t underestimate the role criminal defense attorneys play in helping their clients walk free. There are many innocent people behind bars because of bad attorneys. At O’Keefe Law, we treat our clients like family – we do everything we can to help build you a world-class defense.
If you’re facing sex crime allegations, get in contact today.