Sex Offender Registration in Michigan: Crimes and Classification Tiers
Every state has a different approach to the sex offender registry. While some are more lenient, others are much stricter. It's important that Michigan residents understand exactly how the sex offender registry works in Michigan. In Michigan, there are two different categories of crimes: felonies and misdemeanors. While being added to the sex offender registry means that an individual committed a crime, it does not necessarily mean that the individual committed the type of crime that some may presume occurred.
Understanding Michigan's Classification of Sex Offenses
There are essentially three different levels into which sex offenses are classified in the Michigan sex offender registry. These classifications are based on the nature of the crime, the crime itself, the age of the parties involved, and the offender's likelihood to re-offend. Tier 1 offenses are non-violent offenses in which the parties were above the age of consent and in this tier, the offender must be registered for a minimum of 15 years, with verification on a yearly basis. Tier 2 offenses are non-violent, but involve a minor and require being registered for a minimum of 25 years with verification on a yearly basis. Tier 3 is the most serious tier, and includes offenders that have committed non-violent and violent acts with minors or adults, and requires a lifetime's registration with quarterly verification.
Understanding the Crimes Associated With Each Tier
One does not need to speak with a criminal defense attorney to understand the tiers, but anyone who may be placed on the registry likely should work with an attorney. Typically, Tier 1 offenders commit crimes like indecent exposure, voyeurism, possession of child pornography (which could include sexting among teens), or sexual contact with consent. Tier 1 offenders may have committed sex trafficking of minors, intimidating or bribing to elicit sexual activity (coerced sex), sexual contact with a minor between 12 and 15 years old, prostitution of minors, production of child pornography, or a re-offense from a Tier 1 offender. Tier 3 will typically involve sexual assault, sex acts with a person incapable of consenting, or any related acts or planning to commit such acts.
While Michigan's sex offender registry is difficult to confront, it's important for residents, in general, to understand it completely. If you or someone you love may be placed on the registry, speak to an attorney to explore your options.