Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Michigan Rape Laws

In Michigan the legal term used for "rape," "sexual assault," and "sexual battery" is Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC). Under Michigan law, there are four degrees of CSC and they cover a range of sexual contact and levels of force or intimidation.

The following table highlights the main provisions of Michigan's Rape and Sexual Assault (Criminal Sexual Conduct) laws. See also Rape, Statutory Rape, and Sex Offenders and Sex Offenses.

Code Sections

Michigan Penal Code Section 750.520 et seq.

Elements of Sexual Assault/Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC)

Sexual Assault (generally): Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.

Degrees of CSC

1st degree (felony): A sexual act involving penetration (broadly defined) and any of the following:

  • Victim is under 13 years old;
  • Victim is 13-15 years old + is a blood affiliation to the defendant, lives in the defendant's household, or the defendant is in an authority position to the victim;
  • Multiple actors are involved and force/coercion was used to accomplish the sexual penetration or the victim is incapacitated (physically helpless, mentally incapacitated or mentally defective)
    weapon involved;
  • Personal injury + force/coercion;
  • Personal injury + victim incapacitated (Unable to consent to due age, mental challenged or due to intoxication, date rape drug, etc); or
  • Defendant is in the process of committing another felony.

2nd degree (felony): Sexual contact (No penetration) with the genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttock or breast, AND any of the circumstances listed for 1st Degree CSC.

3rd degree Sexual Penetration and any of the following:

  • Victim is 13-15 years old;
  • Force or coercion; or
  • Victim is incapacitated (unable to consent to due age, mental challenges, intoxication, date rape drug, etc.).

4th degree (misdemeanor): Sexual Contact and any of the following:

  • Force or Coercion
  • Victim incapacity (unable to consent to due age, mental challenges, intoxication, date rape drug, etc.).
  • Defendant works for the Department of Corrections and the victim is an inmate.

1st degree (felony): Life imprisonment and lifetime mandatory sex offender registration.

2nd degree (felony): Up to fifteen years prison time combined with mandatory sex offender registration.

3rd degree (felony): Up to fifteen years in prison, mandatory sex offender registration.

4th degree (misdemeanor): Up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $500.

Definition of "Penetration"

Includes vaginal, anal or oral intercourse or putting a finger or other object into another person’s anal or genital opening.

Definition of "Sexual Contact"

Intentional touching of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts or the clothing covering those intimate parts for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, done for a sexual purpose or in a sexual manner, or done in a sexual manner for revenge or to inflict humiliation or out of anger.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.


If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact any of the following resources:

Charged With Rape? You Will Most Certainly Want Legal Representation

Rape is an extremely serious criminal charge and can result in a lengthy prison sentence and lifetime registration as a sex offender. If you have been charged with rape, you will want an experienced lawyer right away. Get a head start on your case by reaching out to an experienced Michigan defense attorney today.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex cases usually require a lawyer
  • Experienced lawyers can seek to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties
  • Sexual assaults & sex crime convictions often have long sentences and lifelong consequences

Get tailored legal advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


 If you need an attorney, find one right now.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options