When an individual contacts us prior to the completion of an investigation and they are being investigated for a sex offense we must make a determination as to one of two possible courses of action. In these situations we determine if it is best to meet with the investigator and let our client tell their side of the story or if we should suspend further communication between the investigator and our client. Once the investigator has concluded the investigation and sent a warrant request to the prosecutor our job is over if the warrant request is denied by the prosecutor. However, it is just beginning if charges are ultimately brought against our client for a sex crime.
If charges are brought the process begins in the court system and we must determine what is in our client’s best interest every step of the way. At the initial hearing, called an arraignment, our client may be incarcerated and awaiting a bond determination. Our job at this point is to do everything in our power to have bond set in an amount that allows our client to be released pending trial. The next phase is the pre-exam conference followed by the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing is a probable cause hearing that requires the prosecutor to prove there is probable cause that our client committed the crime(s) they are facing. This hearing is put before a judge and in most Michigan sex crimes the prosecutor will stop the plea negotiating process if the preliminary hearing takes place.
If there is no possibility of further plea negotiations we must determine if what can be gained from holding the preliminary hearing is worth the risk of not being able to further negotiate a plea deal. If a client has a legitimate defense and a strong case there may be no reason to even worry about a plea deal and it will make sense to run the preliminary hearing regardless of the consequences it may have on the plea negotiation process.
Once the case has made it’s way past the preliminary hearing we continue to prepare the case for trial. Determining if there is a valid defense, the need for an expert, and if our client should testify on their own behalf were there to be a trial, are all things that we take into consideration as the trial approaches.
Being convicted of a sex crime in Michigan can carry life long consequences. Having an attorney who will fight for you every step of the way, utilizing their knowledge, experience, and ability to assist you in your case is essential to obtaining a positive outcome when facing sex offense charges in Michigan. Don’t leave yourself exposed to a negative outcome; contact one of our Michigan sex offense attorneys if you or a loved one are in need of aggressive legal representation.
Q. I’m seventeen and my girlfriend is 15, can I get in trouble for having sex with her?
A. It is entirely possible that you could be charged criminally for having sex with your girlfriend. If you are 17 or older and have sex with someone under the age of 16, even if they are your girlfriend, you could be facing a charge for a sex crime.
Q. The police want to talk to me about a one-night stand I had with someone I met at the bar, what should I do?
A. Our advice when contacted by an investigator is to always consult an attorney prior to speaking with the investigator.
Q. Is it true that I will have to register as a sex offender if I am convicted of urinating in public?
A. There are a number of crimes that require registration on the Sex Offender Registry in Michigan upon conviction. Typically, urinating in public is not one of those crimes. However, our attorneys have a thorough knowledge of the Michigan Sex Offender Registry and are able to advise clients as to what consequences a potential conviction for a sex offense may carry.