Age of Consent in Michigan
Michigan Sex Crime Lawyers
A common question is, what is the age of consent in Michigan? All states have laws that make it illegal to have sex with anyone below a certain age. This would include both sexual penetration and sexual contact. Having sex with someone under the age of consent is also commonly known as statutory rape.
In Michigan, the age of consent is generally 16. This means that anybody who is 16 and older is viewed under the law as having the ability to consent to sexual activity. Those who are 15 and younger cannot legally consent to sex. Michigan lawmakers have determined that even if someone under 16 says they want to have sex, their age and mental immaturity mean they cannot legally give consent to do so.
There are certain circumstances where the age of consent rises to 18. This is when the perpetrator is in a position of authority over the victim. Examples of this include teachers in the victims school district, school administrators, and other school workers. Because the defendant wields some authority over the victim, the law states that the victim does not have the ability to truly consent to sexual activity with the perpetrator until the victim has reached adulthood.
There are many times when a boy is 16 and is having sex with his 15 year-old girlfriend. Parents must be aware that this is illegal activity until the girl turns 16. If the boy is caught, he could be prosecuted, sent to prison, and may be forced to register as a sex offender. Unlike other states, Michigan has no law that allows for any kind of Romeo and Juliet exception to this being a sex crime.
What if both the participants are under the age of consent in Michigan? Unfortunately, the first person is guilty of committing a sex crime against the second person, who is under the age of consent. The second person is also guilty of committing a sex crime against the first person, who is under the age of consent. Ideally, prosecutors would be lenient in this situation. However, because these sexual behaviors are against the law in Michigan, prosecutors can and do go after both participants since neither are old enough to consent to sex with the other.
It is no excuse if the perpetrator either does not know that the victim is under 16 years old or if the victim lies to the perpetrator by saying he or she is already 16. Though this may not seem fair, defendants will still be prosecuted even if they were unaware that the victim was under the age of consent at the time of the offense.
If you or someone else is being investigated or prosecuted for statutory rape, now is the time to contact a skilled sex crime attorney. Your lawyer should help you navigate through the criminal judicial system and aggressively defend you. At Kronzek & Cronkright, our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience fighting sex crime charges. We have delivered many favorable results to our clients during this time. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Call us today to schedule your free initial consultation: (866) 766-5245.