People accused of sex crimes in Michigan should learn about the state’s sex offender registry program and what requirements they may have to meet.
Being accused of a sexually related offense can be a very scary experience regardless of the circumstances. Knowing that a conviction can result in potentially lifelong consequences makes it important for any Michigan person facing such serious criminal charges to fully understand the laws. This includes learning about the state's sex offender registry program in the event that registration becomes required.
According to the Michigan State Police, there is a long list of sexual offenses for which a person can end up being forced to register as a sex offender. These range from the possession of sexually explicit materials involving minors to illegal sexual activity with minors.
Michigan actually categorizes sexual crimes by the severity of the offense. These categorizations are at least in part determined by the age of the alleged victims. There are three tiers of crimes that can all lead to registration as a sex offender. Tier one offenses are considered the least severe and tier three offenses are considered the most severe.
The length of time that a defendant must register as a sex offender is based upon the tier level assigned to the offense for which a conviction was received. People convicted of tier three offenses will have to maintain a registration for life. People convicted of tier two offenses will have to register for 25 years and those convicted of tier one offenses must register for 15 years.
The public is able to view a lot of information about anyone registered as a sex offender in Michigan. There are multiple ways that this can happen. The Michigan Department of Corrections maintains what is called the Offender Tracking Information System that offers details about various people convicted of both felonies and misdemeanors, including sex crimes.
MLive.com notes that through the state's Public Sex Offender Registry, people can track offenders by location, name or non-compliant status. Offense and registration details as well as information about jobs, residences, vehicles, and physically identifying characteristics can all be viewed through the registry. Someone searching on the registry's website can also see photos of registrants and learn whether or not they have complied with all registry requirements.
Clearly, being accused of a sex crime in Michigan is a serious thing. The ramifications of a conviction can literally last for life. Anyone facing these types of criminal charges should speak with an attorney to understand the options for defending against the charges.