Mike Walsh, Lawyer

(231) 725-4200

8 W Walton Ave
Muskegon, MI 49440

 

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Youngsters naturally are interested and inquisitive about sex. This is healthy. But some children lack a sense of boundaries and take their interest beyond normal bounds. Others are predatory and know no boundaries. In either case, if there is a sexual offense, a criminal charge may be issued.

In Michigan, common law crimes such as “rape” no longer exist; they have been replaced by gender-neutral statutes. That means males and females are treated equally and both can be charged criminally for sexual offenses. There are numerous laws involving such crimes. They include the following:

Crimes of Sexual Penetration and Sexual Touching

1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Punishable: Up to life or any term of years
Sex Offender Registration: Life
2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Punishable: Up to 15 years in prison.
Sex Offender Registration: 25 years
3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Punishable: Up to 15 years in prison.
Sex Offender Registration: 25 years
4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Punishable: Up to 2 years in prison.
Sex Offender Registration: 25 years

Like all children charged with a felony, those facing trial for a sex crime risk prosecution as an adult if the case against him or her has been “designated.” (See other section). Unlike other crimes, however, those convicted of sex offenses also must register with their local police agency every quarter of every year – some for the rest of their lives. Should the offender not register, he or she then would face additional felony prosecution and perhaps time in prison.

But there are exceptions to every rule. Some juveniles convicted of sex offenses may remain free of Sex Offender Registration if the circumstances of their case fit the exceptions of law. Additionally, this area of law is changing. The Michigan Legislature needs to take another look at this growing burden on children.

At TOLLE & WALSH, PLC we believe Sex Offender Registration is appropriate for adult predators – not juvenile experimenters. Please contact your representatives and ask them to reassess the law as it applies to children 16 years of age and under. TOLLE & WALSH PLC would be pleased to provide any legislator with proposed new statutory language giving local prosecutors and judges more discretion in this cases.