Child Related Crimes: Pornography, Abuse, Contributing to Delinquency
In Michigan, there are numerous crimes on the books for the protection of children. Crimes where a child is the alleged victim are given priority and considered to be policy cases by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. Cases that are designated as ‘policy cases’ are not ordinarily subject to negotiation or plea bargaining by the prosecuting attorney absent special circumstances or plausible defenses.Frequent Questions: How Can This Happen if It Is Just My Word Against the Word a Child? Doesn’t the Prosecutor Need More Evidence to Charge Me?
I have been asked this question a million times: How can I be charged with a crime if it is a question of my word against someone else? Not only can you be charged based upon the statement of a single person, but you can also be convicted if the subsequent testimony is believed! The prosecutor can go forward with criminal charges when only ONE person alleges that a crime was committed. No other evidence, medical proof, expert testimony or other witnesses are required to advance criminal charges and proceed to a trial against an individual. The police and prosecutor are not required to research whether the alleged victim is telling the truth or lying even when the initial allegations and potential future testimony is inaccurate and illogical. In cases involving criminal sexual conduct, the child is not even required to take a polygraph or state a specific date when the alleged offense occurred. The prosecutor is only required to state an approximate time frame for the alleged occurrence which may span several years; thus making it impossible for the accused to establish an alibi or viable defense.Penalties for Crimes Against Children
Most crimes against children are classified as felony cases. In addition to a felony record and possible jail time or prison, sex crimes against children require mandatory Sex Offender Registration (SORA) in Michigan and possible GPS tracking. The following is a partial list of prevalent crimes against children in Michigan and as well as our Macomb County Courts:
|Michigan Criminal Offense||Maximum Penalty|
|Contributing to delinquency of a minor||90 days in jail (misdemeanor)|
|Soliciting a child for immoral purposes||10 years and/or fine $10,000.00|
|Aggravated stalking (victim u/18)||10 years and/or fine $15,000.00|
|Domestic violence||93 days and/or fine $500.00|
|Child Abuse||Maximum Penalty|
|First Degree||Life or any term of years|
|Second Degree||10 years in prison|
|Third Degree||2 years in prison|
|Fourth Degree||1 year in jail (misdemeanor)|
|Criminal Sexual Conduct||Maximum Penalty|
|First Degree CSC||Life or any term of years|
|First Degree CSC (victim u/13)||Minimum of 25 years to life|
|Second Degree CSC||15 years prison|
|Third Degree CSC||15 years prison|
|Fourth Degree CSC||2 years and/or $500.00|
|Child Pornography Offenses||Maximum Penalty|
|Possession of child pornography||4 years and/or fine $10,000|
|Distribution of child pornography||7 years and/or fine $50,000|
|Production of child pornography||20 years and/or fine $100,000|
Law enforcement officers, such as the Macomb Area Community Enforcement (MACE) task force, conduct various undercover computer related operations to locate child predators or those involved with child pornography.
A child pornography investigation culminates upon the seizure of computers and data storage devices which will then be turned over to computer forensics technicians. Computer technicians are often able to harvest any inappropriate images/content, including deleted files, which will be used as evidence. Police sting operations using decoys are also employed to locate child predators. One such operation involves the use of chat rooms by law enforcement officer(s) impersonating a minor child. It becomes criminal when the exchanged dialogue between the undercover officer, posing as a child, and the unsuspecting person, leads to a planned meeting with a minor child for a sexual purpose. The chat history (and/or text messages) will be later be used as evidence to support a charge of soliciting a minor for immoral purposes.Let Us Help Protect Your Personal Rights!
Retaining a criminal defense lawyer should be your first priority if you are being investigated or charged with any misdemeanor or felony. Being charged with a crime involving a child will require specialized attention, knowledge of the court system, utilizing deviation requests, presenting sentence memorandums, potential plea bargaining and a trial strategy. Plea bargaining is just one of the possible options when confronted with criminal charges. Some other considerations in preparing a defense to an alleged crime involving a child include:
- Whether the alleged victim is lying or has been manipulated?
- Whether evidence (pornography) has been illegally seized, was inadvertently downloaded, was planted by someone?
- Whether the accused party was entrapped?
- Whether a confession can be suppressed?
- Whether a private investigator can assist the defense?
- Whether experts, computer technicians, can assist the defense?
- Whether an independent polygraph can assist the defense?
- Whether a plea bargain to a lower offense or misdemeanor is possible?
- Whether the alleged victim will agree to a plea bargain?
- Whether a deviation request should be filed with the prosecutor?
In addition to exploring all possible defenses, ABDO LAW may recommend psychiatric and/or psychological attention for mental health issues, sex/pornography addiction, etc.
ABDO LAW, established in Macomb County in 1980, provides unrivaled legal services to those that seek highly rated criminal defense lawyers. We believe that every client has a unique situation and deserves to be treated with respect and dedication to achieve the best possible result in the Michigan court system. In our 35 years of practicing criminal law, we have amassed 1,000’s of legal victories in every type of criminal matter. It takes one phone call to get immediate answers to your most pressing legal questions. Call ABDO LAW for personal and confidential advice from attorneys that have achieved AVVO’s highest rating of Superb and Martindale Hubbell’s Preeminent rating for legal ability and ethical standards by members of the bar and judiciary.