Most criminal cases in Michigan must be brought within a certain number of years, pursuant to state statutes. One reason for this is so that someone does not receive notice that they are being charged with a criminal offense many years after the alleged act, potentially limiting the person’s ability to gather and present evidence in their defense. The general rule in Michigan is that the government has six years to bring a case against someone from the time of the alleged act that completed the crime.
However, Michigan law makes exceptions for certain crimes. And while most cases are subject to a statute of limitations of some sort, some of the most serious crimes are not subject to any time limitation and may be filed at any time. These crimes include murder, solicitation to murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and criminal sexual conduct of the first degree.
Statutes of limitations only deal with pre-arrest delay, and it is important to note that the right to a speedy trial is different from the right provided by a statute of limitations. Once someone is arrested and charged with an offense, the statute of limitations will not apply. However, under the speedy trial rule, the government has only a certain amount of time to bring that person to trial.
Man Charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct Based on Acts Committed in the 1990s Earlier this month, a Michigan man was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct for the alleged sexual abuse of a 13-year-old that occurred over a period of time in the late 1990s and early 2000s. According to one local news report, the alleged abuse went on for some period of time, potentially spanning the better part of a decade. The man was previously convicted of a lesser-degree charge of criminal sexual conduct and was given 60 months’ probation, which he successfully completed.
The prosecutor on the case attempted to explain why the victim waited so long to report the abuse, stating that it is not unusual for children to wait until they are older to disclose alleged abuse. However, the fact that the victim waited for nearly 16 years to report the abuse is certainly an issue that the defense may raise when defending against the charges.
Have You Been Charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan? If you have recently been charged with criminal sexual conduct, or any other crime in the State of Michigan, you should seek dedicated counsel as soon as possible. Depending on a number of circumstances, you may be able to defend against the case on both procedural and substantive grounds. However, the longer you wait, the more likely you are to waive or undermine your ability to make certain arguments. To learn more, and to speak with a dedicated attorney about your case, call (248) 266-8720 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated Michigan criminal defense attorney.