Anyone who is charged with sex-based offenses in Michigan will have a lot to consider as they plan their defense. The potential legal penalties and personal consequences can completely change a person’s life. There mere mentioning of the words “sex crimes” is viewed as a negative, no matter the details. Two terms that should be understood as part of the case are force and coercion.
What is force and coercion under the law?
In Michigan, the law details when a person will be charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. Part of the charges may include force and coercion to achieve sexual penetration against the victim’s will.
Force and coercion will be part of the case if the alleged perpetrator had a weapon or behaved as if they had a weapon to commit the act; if the victim is injured and the alleged perpetrator sexually penetrates them after they have been injured; if the victim is the subject of physical violence or force is used to commit the sexual act; if there is a threat of violence or physical force to get the victim to submit and the alleged perpetrator has the clear ability to carry out these threats.
Coercion can be separate from force. The threat of future retaliation is categorized as coercion. That includes being threatened physically or facing the possibility of being kidnapped or extorted. It can also be coercion if a person who is in a position of authority over the victim – an employer; a teacher; a law enforcement officer; a coach; a relative – and uses that to compel the victim to submit.
A comprehensive legal defense is key with sex crimes
Sex crimes can be lodged against anyone. For people who are confronted by these troubling allegations, it is imperative to understand what they are facing if they are convicted. Force and coercion and accusations related to it can range as to what the person is said to have done.
Not only might this result in a long prison sentence, but it can harm a person’s standing with their family, in the community and damage them professionally. They will likely need to register as a sex offender. No matter the situation, the entire case must be scrutinized for evidence.
It is possible that the alleged victim is being untruthful. The act might have been consensual. Other aspects of the case could be questionable. From the beginning, having an experienced criminal defense from professionals who understand sex-based offenses from the perspective of the prosecution and the defense can be essential to addressing the charges.