The age of consent is a legal rule that determines when a person is considered “legally competent” to consent to sexual acts. When someone is below the age of consent, they are considered unable to consent to sex, which makes any sex with someone underage a crime (specifically, statutory rape). In Michigan, the age of consent is 16, which is slightly younger than other states in the union. However, that does not mean any sexual relationship with a 16-year-old is lawful.
In Michigan, the age of consent has certain exceptions that hinge on what kind of relationship dynamic is at play. For instance, when a person is in a position of power or trust over a 16-year-old, any sexual relationship is still considered a crime. This includes (but is not limited to) teachers.
Other exceptions to the Michigan age of consent rules include:
- Sexual relationships with family members
- Consent given under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Consent given under force or economic coercion (i.e., payment)
The Penalties for Statutory Rape in Michigan
If you’re accused of violating the above exceptions or of having sex with someone under the age of consent, then you could be facing serious penalties for “criminal sexual conduct.” The consequences of a conviction could include GPS monitoring, sex offender registration, and serious jail time. If you’re accused of penetrative sex with a child under the age of 13, you’re facing 25 years in prison minimum.
The harsh truth is that no judge will care if you say “I didn’t know!” or “They consented!” Legally speaking, the age of consent is a hard line, and no lack of knowledge will protect you from serious consequences. The best way to protect yourself is to get a Farmington Hills statutory rape defense attorney as soon as possible. I, Daniel D. Hajji, have more than 17 years of criminal defense experience. My office offers flexible payment plans as well as 24/7 availability, and I’ll do everything in my power to help you walk away from this.
Accused of statutory rape in Michigan? Contact me online or call me at (248) 599-0054 today to get a free strategy session and learn your legal options.