Criminal Defense Law Center
West Michigan

Statutory Rape Defense Attorneys
Grand Rapids, Michigan

In Michigan, a person must be at least 16 years old in order to engage in consensual sex with an adult. The legal age of consent in Michigan is 16 years old.  Individuals who are 15 years old or younger in Michigan are not able to legally consent to sexual activity. An adult who engaged in such activity may face statutory rape charges.

Under Michigan statutory rape laws, the age of consent is raised to 18 years old when the older party is an authority figure.  An example of an authority figure would be a teacher; it is illegal for a high school or grade school teacher to have sex with a student.

A lot of people who are accused of this crime were are not aware of the age of their sexual partner. Under Michigan law, a mistaken age is not a defense to the crime of statutory rape.

In order to prove that a rape has occurred, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was no consent given to engage in sexual activity. Because of this, examination of the issue of consent is always an important step the prosecutor and a defense attorney also closely examine. inevitable and fundamental step.  In the case of statutory rape, if one of the parties engaging in sexual activity is a legal minor, there consent cannot be given and therefore a person can be charged with statutory rape. 

The legislature in Michigan has passed legislation that who have not reached the statutorily designated age are not able to give consent to sexual activity. 

The impact of a statutory rape conviction will cause harmful consequences to anyone convicted of this crime. These impact will also be permanent. The societal stigma, having an extremely hard time getting a job or staying employed and the loss of educational opportunities can destroy a person’s life. 

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Michigan Romeo And Juliet Laws And Statutory Rape

Romeo and Juliet provisions keep someone from having to be registered as a sex offender. This will happen if the person charged with statutory rape can meet the following requirements:

  • A registered offender who had consensual sex with a victim at least 13 years old but less than 16 years old
  • Who was not more than 4 years older than the victim at the time of the sexual contact
  • Can petition the court for immediate removal from the registry


Having sexual contact with someone under 16 years old is referred to as statutory rape. In Michigan, statutory rape is called Criminal Sexual Conduct. The penalties are severe and include prison time. The penalties also include lifetime registration as a sex offender and GPS monitoring. In cases where there is an act of sexual penetration and the minor is under 13 years old, the penalty may include a mandatory minimum 25-year prison sentence.

Can A 22 Year Old Date A 16 Year Old?

Since these laws cover sexual activity, dating is not a legal issue without sexual activity. 

Exceptions to the Age of Consent in Michigan

What age of consent entails is that once a human being turns 16 years old, in the state of Michigan, another human being can have consensual sexual relations with that person in the majority of cases. However, there are some exceptions to that rule that you need to know about. Here are some of those exceptions to the rule:

  • Fiducial Relationship: This is an exception that arises when the activity of a sexual nature involves another person who is in a position of power or trust over the person who is supposedly giving the consent.
    Familial Relationship: This is an exception that arises when sexual activities involve immediate relationships with family.
    If there is any force or coercion: Coercion includes economic coercion where you obtain the consent of a person(either below or above 16 years of age) by paying them. You could be facing a felony charge if there is coercion involved in sexual activities.
  • Consent under Influence: This is an exception that is created for a person who is drunk or under the influence of drugs. A person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol can not give consent.

What to do if you are accused of statutory rape?

If the allegations are true, you need to hire a tough and experienced defense lawyer. You need a lawyer who will know how to take steps to minimize any consequences. You will need a lawyer who has trial experience. You will need a lawyer who will present with the court the good side of your life. In these types of cases, if you are innocent, you typically have to prove your innocence and being guilty is presumed because you were charged with such a serious crime.

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Criminal Defense Law Center West Michigan

Attorney Shawn Haff
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