Leading Sex Offense Lawyer near Grand Rapids MI
Lawyer Daniel Hilf provides diligent and experienced representation for persons accused of sex offenses in Grand Rapids Michigan and throughout Kent county. Attorney Hilf will not turn his back on you, and will fight for your best result no matter what the factual allegations or charge if you make the wise decision to retain his services.
Sex abuse crimes have ruined and changed more lives for the worse than any other criminal allegation. This area of criminal defense is filled with cases of injustice, because cases are often prosecuted with little to no physical evidence, factual inconsistencies, lack of corroboration, and/or after long periods of delay. When it comes to these types of cases many people assume the worst of persons charged, which goes against the presumption of innocence and our important Constitutional rights that, in theory, are supposed to guard against false convictions.
Sexual assault allegations in Grand Rapids Michigan often are assigned within the Kent County prosecutor's office to "special prosecutors" who are assigned to only prosecute these types of cases, and who have specialized training in order to gain the largest number of convictions. Michigan laws are tipped now to give the prosecution an unfair advantage by allowing, in most cases, statements by the alleged victim that were at one time considered to be inadmissible hearsay, allowing in most cases the admission of other act evidence, and by harsh sentencing measures including potentially years of incarceration and sex offender registration (which may tend to encourage someone who is actually innocent to settle his or her case through a plea bargain or sentence agreement, when available). The logical way to level the playing field is to obtain a top rated criminal lawyer who has vast experience defending sex accusations, such as lawyer Daniel Hilf.
The alleged victims of sex offenses are given close attention and care by "victim's advocates" and "special prosecutors", which may sound good when it relates to the actual real victims of sexual abuse, but it also has the tendency to reward, coddle, and protect persons who make false claims even when they give inconsistent, unreliable statements. It never occurs in Kent County for an alleged victim of sexual assault to be prosecuted for perjury or filing a false police statement after testifying at trial. Criminal prosecutions for lying only occurs when a complaining witness (who made a false allegation) tries to do the right thing to undo a injustice they caused by recanting their prior statement to the police, or if there is strong corroborating evidence that is discovered to suggest the crime never actually occurred. Even in the case of recanting witness, the case is often not dismissed because the position of the Kent County prosecutor will be that it is up to a jury to decide if the alleged victim was credible when he or she made the first or second contradictory statement. The sad reality is that a Defendant, who is the victim of false rape/sex abuse allegations, never is given any support from a "special prosecutor" and/or a "victim advocate" at the end of the trial when a jury acquits him or her, even though they may need such attention because their life is in emotional and financial shambles and members of the public may continue to incorrectly view the Defendant as a perpetrator. The only support that the Defendant has is his or her criminal defense counsel (if he or she hires a great lawyer), and the friends and family that are willing to stand by the Defendant despite the sickening allegations made. Sometimes the family does not support the Defendant due to investigations and threats made by Child Protective Services with regard to parental rights, or siding with the alleged victim, which provides another strong reason to immediately obtain an experienced and trusted defense lawyer in your corner.
There are a number of different reasons why false allegations of sexual abuse are brought forward against an individual, including: bias and prejudice, coaching of witnesses, mental illness, the need for attention, child custody related issues, anger, false memories, mistaken identity, etc. The ability of the defense to develop a plausible theory behind the false sexual allegation is important, because the attitude of many prospective jurors is to question the reason why the alleged victim would lie about rape or sexual abuse absent a credible reason for the same. It is important to work closely with your criminal defense lawyer to fully develop and present your defense in a credible and consistent manner.
A Stellar Defense and Outstanding Legal Representation for all Grand Rapids Michigan Sex Offenses
Attorney Daniel Hilf has successfully battled against these types of charges through a combination of hard work, investigation, legal acumen, extensive case preparation, and litigation ability. Although every single case is different from every other case, and results can never be guaranteed, attorney Daniel Hilf has previously obtained dismissals and acquittals of sex abuse claims for clients. The types of sex offenses that lawyer Daniel Hilf defends includes the following:
1. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree (CSC 1st Degree) is the most serious of the sex offenses which is a capital level offense that carries the following possible penalties: a maximum of life in prison, a mandatory minimum of 25 years if the alleged victim was under 13 years, sentencing guidelines in other circumstances that call for many years in prison, and a lifetime on tether if the person convicted is ever released from prison. CSC 1st Degree is charged whenever there is some form of sexual penetration (vaginal, anal, fellatio, cunnilingus) by a body part (penis, vagina, finger, tongue) or foreign object upon the victim, and the presence of at least 1 of the following additional elements:
- the victim is under the age of 13;
- the victim is 13 years and older, and younger than 16 years, and the Defendant is of blood affiliation;
- the victim is 13 years and older, and younger than 16 years, and the Defendant is member of the victim's household;
- the victim is 13 years and older, and younger than 16 years, and the Defendant is in a position of authority to the victim;
- multiple persons participated and force or coercion was used;
- the victim was incapacitated (physically helpless, mentally impaired, or mentally incapacitated)
- a weapon was used;
- personal injury occurred through force or coercion;
- personal injury and the victim was incapacitated; or
- the the sexual penetration occurred while the Defendant was committing another felony.
2. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree (CSC 2nd Degree) is a serious felony offense that carries the following maximum possible penalties: up to 15 years in prison, and mandatory sex offender registration. This offense involves sexual contact (touching of the inner thigh, buttocks, genital area, groin, or breast) not involving penetration, with the same above listed aggravating elements as CSC 1st Degree.
3. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree (CSC 3rd Degree) is a serious felony that carries up to 15 years in prison, a minimum sentence of prison confinement (with parole usually denied until sex offender treatment is completed in prison), and mandatory sex offender registration. This offense involves sexual penetration with any one of the following additional elements:
- the victim is under 16 years old;
- force or coercion was used to achieve the sexual penetration; or
- victim was incapacitated.
4. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree (CSC 4th Degree) is classified as a high court misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison, and mandatory sex offender registration. This offense involves sexual contact (intentional touching of the inner thigh, buttocks, genital area, groin, or breast) not involving penetration, with any of the following:
- force or coercion;
- victim incapacity;
- or the person charged works for the Michigan Department of Corrections and the victim is a prisoner.
5. Assault with Intent to Commit Penetration is a 10 year maximum felony, with mandatory sex offender registration, and sentencing guidelines that usually mean a prison sentence.
6. Indecent Exposure is a 1 year misdemeanor offense, and is not necessary a sex offense (as of the date this page was authored, there is no sex offender registration requirement). If the Defendant is charged as being a sexually delinquent person the maximum possible penalty is up to life in prison, and mandatory sex offender registration. Sexual delinquency refers to sexual actions that are compulsive or repetitive in nature in disregard to the consequences or rights of others.
7. Child Pornography can be prosecuted as either a State of Michigan or Federal offense. The penalties vary depending upon whether or not the allegation involves possession (4 year maximum in Michigan), distribution (7 year maximum in Michigan), enticing a child (20 year maximum in Michigan), or manufacture of child pornography (20 year maximum in Michigan), with all offenses requiring sex offender registration upon conviction. When these offenses allegedly involve the use of a smart phone or computer, this offense is often prosecuted along with the criminal offense of Use of a Computer in the Commission of a Felony.
8. Failure to Register as a Sex Offender is a 4 year maximum felony in Michigan. However, if there are prior conviction for the same offense, the maximum penalty becomes 7 years for a second offense, and 10 years for a third or subsequent offense. It is also possible for this offense to be prosecuted federally.
Advice From a Trusted Detroit Michigan Attorney for Sex Offenses
When it comes to a sex offense investigation, it is important to immediately retain a dedicated, zealous sex offense defense attorney to represent you from day one, because there are a lot of risks for an individual who does not have proper legal representation. There is always at least a small gap between the time an individual learns of an accusation and the time it takes to retain counsel, and therefore it is important to remember the following in the meantime:
1. Do not believe the police. Police have the legal ability to lie, and often will do so to try and build a case (police look at lying as an "investigative tool"). They will often misrepresent or mischaracterize the evidence that they have when confronting a Defendant concerning a sex offense allegation. The goal of the police is to entice a confession, and unfortunately there are instances of innocent people making false confessions or inconsistent statements due to promises made by the police and fear.
2. Do not speak to the police. Police are trained at eliciting statements from Defendants, and using those statements to build cases. You are at a disadvantage when you are interviewed by the police, because police officers have the training, tools, interrogation techniques, and experience of obtaining confessions and other damaging statements. Even if you are innocent, the police will sometimes twist your words, and look to highlight every potential inconsistency they perceive to make it seem like you are not being honest. The police are truly not interested in your side of the story - they are interested in their side of the story (which often coincides with the complaint made by the alleged victim). If the police tells you that they are neutral, that is a lie. The best way to avoid being used by the police is to demand your lawyer and to not provide any statements.
3. Do not consent to searches without consulting with your lawyer. You are under no obligation to assist the police with searches of your property and belongings. However, if the police officer has a valid search warrant you must comply. Police officers also have the ability to take booking photographs as part of their duties which you cannot avoid.
4. Do not talk to anyone except your lawyer. Your statements are only protected by attorney client privilege if they are made to your lawyer in a private location. Otherwise your statements are likely admissible against you at a trial if the police and/or prosecution become aware of any statements made. Telling a friend or family member anything factual or damaging about your case may place them in the unenviable position of being subpoenaed by the prosecution to testify against you.
5. Always assume that telephone, computer, and other electronic communication is preserved and discoverable. All telephone calls from jail or prison are recorded, and the prosecution has the ability of obtaining those recordings to use in their case. All data stored on a computer or cell phone is always recoverable by a forensic expert, even if you are certain that it was deleted or data was otherwise written over it.
Experience You Can Count On in Kent County for Sex Offenses
If facing a sex offense immediately contact a trusted sex offense defense lawyer, because your way of life is on the line and only a great lawyer can properly and fully defend you. A skilled lawyer can help you build the best defense to assert at trial. A skilled lawyer can help you negotiate the best possible resolution in many cases, when you don't want to proceed with a trial. A skilled lawyer knows what options may be available to avoid a conviction or sex offender registration, and argue for the same when applicable. When it comes to a sex offense it is important to not give up hope, because the right lawyer in your corner, like attorney Daniel Hilf, may make all the difference in the world.
Michigan based criminal defense attorney Daniel Hilf provides strong and solid legal assistance for:
If you have been arrested or charged with a sex related crime it is critical to contact us immediately.