Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Paul J. Tafelski Discusses Michigan’s Age of Consent Law
Michigan criminal defense lawyer Paul J. Tafelski (https://www.michigandefenselaw.com/blog/understanding-michigans-age-consent-law/) releases a new blog post that discusses the law surrounding Michigan’s age of consent. The lawyer mentions that the age of consent in Michigan is 16 years and a child younger than 16 may not consent to sexual contact, even with another minor.
According to the Michigan criminal defense lawyer, “When an individual engages in vaginal, anal, oral, or digital penetration with a minor who cannot consent to sex, he or she may be charged with statutory rape. This offense is also known as criminal sexual conduct.”
The lawyer explains that statutory rape laws allow consensual sexual contact between adolescents who are close in age. These exceptions are known as “Romeo and Juliet” laws or close-in-age exceptions. However, since the age of consent is 16, an 18-year-old may be charged with sexual conduct if they engage in consensual sex with a 15-year-old.
Attorney Tafelski discusses that the ages of the involved parties in a statutory rape charge have an impact on how the criminal sexual conduct will be charged. The relationship between the older part to the younger party also impacts the charge. Depending on the circumstances, the criminal sexual conduct may be charged as a first, second, or third-degree felony.
The criminal defense attorney says that if both parties involved in the statutory rape charges are minors, only the older party may be charged with the crime. Additionally, if a 16 or 17-year-old consents to sexual activities with a teacher or another school employee, the teacher of the employee may be charged with a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.
“Mistaking a minor to be older than his or her actual age is not a valid defense to a statutory rape charge in Michigan,” says attorney Tafelski.
Lastly, attorney Tafelski emphasizes how important it is to seek the guidance of a criminal defense attorney when faced with a statutory rape charge. There are other strategies that may be able to help a defendant receive a more favorable outcome. Having a skilled criminal defense lawyer may also help the defendant know their rights and what steps they should take next.
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Paul J. Tafelski
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