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Can Consent be a Defense in Sex Crimes?


To give a short answer, consent can be a defense in some sex crimes in Michigan. It always depends on the specific law that applies to the crime.

In the State of Michigan, it is a crime to have any sexual contact with a person who is under the age of 16. The issue of consent is not a defense available for any person who has sexual contact with someone who is under the age of 16. 

Even the alleged maturity of the victim, or even if it was the alleged victim who has shown aggressive sexual behavior, cannot be used as a defense in a case file for statutory rape. 

What is the Romeo and Juliet Law?

There are some instances when age did not play a role in the sexual act. When age is used as a defense to statutory rape cases, there is still the Romeo and Juliet Law in Michigan that could apply.

To discuss, let us talk about the origin of the story of Romeo and Juliet. In the storyline, we know that Juliet was only 13 years of age while Romeo’s age was never specified. The story talks about the forbidden love between the two and this is what applies when talking about the modern close-in-age exemptions. 

The Romeo and Juliet law in Michigan aims to protect minors who have engaged in consensual sexual conduct when the age difference between the parties is less than 5 years and when the minor involved in the sexual activity is at least 13 years of age. 

For example, if Romeo was only 18 at the time of the sexual contact while Juliet was 15 years of age, there is considered a modern close-in-age exemption that applied in the case. Romeo will not be listed as a sexual predator in the State of Michigan.

What is the difference between Sexual Contact and Sexual Intercourse?

One important aspect of the Romeo and Juliet law is the distinction between sexual conduct and sexual intercourse. As long as there is only sexual contact or conduct that is sexual, under or over the clothing of the parties, there is the close-in-age exemption.

However, when there is sexual intercourse that involves actual penetration, no matter how slight, there is criminal sexual conduct of the third degree. In this case, the convicted sex offender would have to register as a sexual predator, no matter the age.

Is it still criminal sexual conduct when both parties are of the same age?

When both parties are of the same age and consent to having sexual intercourse, there is still a possible prosecution that could occur. In this case, the parties need to make sure that they get the right representation. The prosecution would often depend on the parents of the parties involved and can get dragged on, especially when two minors are involved.

What is your best advice in case two minors are caught doing sexual conduct or sexual intercourse? 

Depending on the circumstance, it is often the parents of the minor woman who always wants to file charges against the other party. This is understandable since parents always want to protect their children.

 If you are in this situation, you must always get the best advice from the right lawyer to help you and your child. Haque Legal is always here to help in these circumstances. After all, keep in mind that these kinds of charges can haunt you or your child for life.

Get Yourself a Good Lawyer

Here at Haque Legal, we always tell potential clients that the best thing that they can do in case of a case filed against them is to get themself a good lawyer at the beginning of the proceedings. Even when you are just filling up forms or when you think that you already have a dispute, you can always get yourself a good lawyer to get started with the process

The first great thing that you can do is to make sure that you have a good guide when it comes to dealing with legalities. After all, you are fighting for your freedom and your life.

Contact Your Lawyer

If you have been involved in a criminal complaint in Michigan, you need to contact your law firm. A lawyer can help you get started with properly protecting your rights. A lawyer at Haque Legal will see to it that your needs are met from beginning to the end of the proceedings. You are always in good hands with Haque Legal and what it has to offer.

Disclaimer

The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.

Let us help you out

If you are having trouble with the law about a possible charge of a sex crime or you want a lawyer to help you with the representation, call us immediately. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.