If you’ve ever looked at the Michigan Sex Offender Registry online, or researched someone who is listed as a sex offender, you probably noticed the ‘tier’ classification system we use. For people who aren’t familiar with the system, this can be a little confusing. So let’s take a look at what it means, and why we use this system for classifying sex offenders.
Why does Michigan divide convicted sex offenders into ‘tiers’?
In 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Adam Walsh Act into law. This set the standard for how law enforcement classifies sexual offenses. Under the federal Adam Walsh Act, sexual offenses are classified based on the crime committed, the nature of the crime, the age of the people involved, and whether or not the convicted sex offender is likely to commit the same type of offense again.
Under this new federal law, states were encouraged to do likewise, altering their sex offender registries to reflect their categories. In Michigan, we divide convicted sex offenders into three ‘tiers’ based on the crime they had committed, and how long they were required to remain on the registry.
What are the different tiers in Michigan?
Part of what makes the system confusing to some people is that ‘tier 1’ is sometimes assumed to be the worst offenders. This isn’t true. The system is actually the other way around, with the more minor offenses being labelled as ‘tier 1’ and the most serious offenses falling into ‘tier 3’. Here is a breakdown of which crimes fall into the three tiers: (please note that this list is an overview, and isn’t exhaustive!)
Tier One Offenses:
- Indecent exposure with self fondling in front of a child
- Possession of child sexually abusive material (child pornography or kiddie porn)
- Unlawful imprisonment or restraint of a minor
- Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) 4th degree against a victim aged 18 or older
- A sex offense committed by a sexually delinquent person
Tier Two Offenses:
- Accosting, Enticing or Soliciting a Child for Immoral Purposes
- Crime Against Nature or Sodomy, if the victim is younger than 18 but older than 13
- Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree, if the victim is older than 13 but younger than 18
- Distributing or Promoting Child Sexually Abusive Material
Tier Three Offenses:
- Gross indecency against a victim under age 13
- First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (rape, or any other forced sexual penetration)
- Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Assault with intent to commit penetration (CSC 1st degree or CSC 3rd degree)
- Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct against a victim younger than 13 years old
Different tiers require different registration periods
Convicted sex offenders in Michigan are required to register their addresses with the Michigan State Police a certain number of times, during specific times of the year. They are also required to stay on the sex offender registry for different periods of time, based on their assigned tiers.
Tier I: Must verify their residence and other information in-person once a year for 15 years.
Tier II: Must verify their residence and other information in-person twice a year for 25 years.
Tier III: Must verify their residence and other information in-person four times a year for the rest of their lives.
Being a registered sex offender in Michigan is life changing!
Being a registered sex offender will have a direct impact on every part of your life, regardless of which tier you’re at. While people assigned to tier 3 are likely to draw more concern from neighbors and community members than those at tier 1, the reality is that simply being a registered sex offender is bad enough!
If you or a loved one have been accused of a sex crime in Michigan, you’re going to need the help of an aggressive and experienced sex crime defense attorneys. Call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail) and discuss your case with one of our respected sex crime defense attorneys. Over the decades we’ve helped many people who’ve been able to avoid conviction, and continue to live their lives uninterrupted! Remember that the right attorney is critical.