Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

What is Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?

It's the lowest level of offense and could be a gross misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. A person is guilty of this level if the following is admitted or proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

The actor engages in nonconsensual sexual penetration;
a. Conviction for this behavior is a Felony with a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison
The actor engages in nonconsensual sexual contact or masturbation or lewd exhibition of the genitals in the presence of a minor under the age of 16, knowing or having reason to know that the minor is present.
a. Conviction for this behavior may be sentenced as a Gross Misdemeanor with a penalty of not more than a year in jail; however
b.Conviction for this behavior can be sentenced as a Felony if there are prior qualifying convictions for sex or other offenses.

Predatory registration is not automatically required if a defendant is convicted of Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct unless they are convicted of a Felony under the relevant statutory provisions.  If you want to read the MN Statute outlining this offense, you can review it here.


Do I need a lawyer if I’m charged with a sex crime?

YES! Accusations of criminal sexual conduct can have immediate consequences, such as the separation of family members or the loss of employment. Convictions for the same can have far reaching collateral consequences for the rest of a person’s life, including loss of housing or licensures, social isolation, and financial hardship. To adequately defend these charges, a defendant needs a lawyer with experience.

When Catherine represents people charged with sex crimes, she talks to them about what happened from their perspective and puts together a defense strategy that often involves talking to witnesses, gathering social media evidence, and making special motions in court.

She understands that accusations of rape, solicitation, or any other sex crime can ruin someone’s life and she’s committed to helping people fight the charges. She has won serious criminal sexual conduct trials, gotten charges dismissed, and kept people out of prison.

She knows how to work a case, and will help resolve the matter in the best interests of the client. Not every case ends up in trial, and Catherine is just as committed to negotiating a resolution that works for the client as she is to winning in front of a jury. Every situation is different and requires a unique approach. She will customize a defense that works for every client.

Catherine is an experienced criminal defense lawyer that defends against all criminal sexual conduct, solicitation, child pornography, and other sex crimes in state and federal court. If you or someone you love has been accused of a sex crime, Catherine can help. Call for a free consultation.