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July 17, 2021

Common Sex Crime Charges in Michigan

July 17, 2021

When people hear the word “sex crime” it usually conjures up thoughts of rape. However, that’s just one common sex crime in a wide variety of crimes sexual in nature, or intent. Michigan law has specific definitions for each of the different types of sex crimes. With each definition, comes different punishments if one is convicted in a sex crime charge. Below are some of the most common sex crime charges in Michigan.

Though each sex crime has its own definition, they’re all sexual offenses and if convicted, usually results in serving jail, or prison time. Sentence time length varies, but no matter what, the punishment doesn’t end once released. This is why it’s imperative to have expert legal representation.

Sex Crime Charges in the State of Michigan

Crimes sexual in nature are often thought to be some of the worst crimes an individual can commit. Though our list here is vast, it by no means covers every aspect of the Michigan criminal code.

Punishments for convictions in Michigan CSC can be some of the harshest in Michigan’s court systems.  It’s important to consult a lawyer experienced in representing those accused of sex crimes in Michigan.

1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

As you may have guessed, 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is the most serious. It means it carries the harshest punishments, too. One of the most severe punishments: prison. It can either be for life depending on the age of the victim, and severity of the crime, but can also be for a set amount of years. 

If convicted for a set number of years, instead of for life, once released, you’ll be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. 

2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is not as severe as 1st Degree CSC, however, it’s still a serious crime. It carries a pretty hefty punishment of up to 15 years in prison. 

Upon release from prison, it’s mandatory for a convicted person to register as a sex offender, but not for life as a 1st Degree CSC criminal is mandated to do. Instead, they must register for 25 years on the sex offender registry.

3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Dealing with a 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct charge is a serious crime. Surprisingly even though it’s punishable with up to 15 years in prison, it does require a convicted person to register with Michigan State for life as a sex offender. 

4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

The least serious, but still extremely grave, is 4th Degree CSC. The punishment is far less harsh, with punishment of up to two years in prison with a possible fine. Although not always the case, a convicted 4th Degree CSC person are often required to register as a sex offender for any number of years up to life. 

Examples of Common Michigan Sexual Crimes 

Unfortunately, the volume of common sex crimes in Michigan is shocking and we will never be able to cover all of them. All we can do is touch upon some of them to familiarize people with the different kinds of sex crime charges most commonly seen in Michigan courts. 

Consulting with an expert legal team on any sexual conduct criminal charges is a must for understanding not just the charges, but also the punishments you may face if convicted in Michigan. 


Forcing another person to engage in sexual activities against their will is charged as rape in Michigan. It’s charged as a 1st or 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, and isn’t usually charged as a separate crime. This goes for sexual activity that normally involves penetration, and even though date rape is often thought of as its own category of crime, it’s also usually charged as a 1st or 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct crime.


Prostitution isn’t as simple as an exchange of sexual acts and sexual intercourse for money. There’s a few different related prostitution crimes someone can be charged with. When someone is caught selling sex for money, and the person is older than 16 years of age, it’s considered a misdemeanor. However, if you’re caught paying a prostitute for sex, that’s often a felony.

Now if you’re caught pimping someone else for prostitution services, or as the law calls it, Pandering, you could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Plus, you’ll be required to register as a sex offender for 25 years. 

Child Porn

Thanks to the internet, and the ease of which one can procure, produce and sell pornagraphic materials, child porn convictions carry serious consequences in Michigan. Since children are involved, Michigan and the federal government vigorously prosecute child pornography criminal cases. 

If caught with child porn materials, or producing porn materials, or distributing child porn, these are all punishable felonies that carry prison sentences and mandatory sex offender registration.

Indecent Exposure

Intentionally exposing your sexual organs in public spaces is normally a misdemeanor offense and can land you in jail for up to a year, and will often result in being charged with fines. However, if you are convicted of aggravated indecent exposure, you could end up with up to two years in jail and double the fine normally charged in a regular indecent exposure conviction. Both normally land the convicted person on the sex offender registry. How long depends on how severe the crime. 

A sexually delinquent person who exposes their genitals in public can be punished with life in prison. And, of course, having to register as a sex offender. 

If you are charged with a sex crime

As you can see, a sex crime conviction in Michigan will dramatically affect your life. Don’t delay contacting the Schwartz Law Group’s highly specialized sex crime lawyers if you or a loved has been accused of a sex crime in Michigan.