Michigan Sex Offender Records
What is a Sex Offender?
A sex offender is a person that is convicted of a crime that is sexual in nature and intent. In Michigan, there is a wide range of actions that may constitute sex offenses with different definitions under state laws. The state courts are the machinery with the function of bringing sex offenders to book and meting out punishments where necessary.
Sex offenses in Michigan are some of the worst offenses that a person can commit because the state imposes stiff penalties on crimes of this nature. Most times, a convicted offender will serve jail time and register as a sex offender. As a result, a sex offender loses many rights and privileges. A conviction can also affect how an offender lives and places an offender can visit.
Who is Considered a Sex Offender in Michigan?
The Michigan Penal Code does not give a clear definition of what the term “sex offender” means. Instead, the code outlines certain sex offenses, the conviction of which makes a person a sex offender. These crimes are listed under Chapter 750 of the code, which also explains the circumstances in which certain conduct may be interpreted to mean a sex offense. Under Sec. 520a, which is the definition section, sexual contact involves the intentional touching of a person’s intimate parts or clothing covering that area, if that touching is for a sexual purpose, revenge, humiliation, or out of anger.
Intimate parts under the same section refer to the genital area, inner thighs, breast, buttocks, or groin of the person. Acts of sexual penetration, which may amount to sex offenses under the code, are sexual intercourse, fellatio, cunnilingus, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion of any part of a person’s body or object into the anal opening or genital of another person’s body. The secretion of semen is not a prerequisite for the offense to be complete.
What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses in Michigan?
There are many types of sex offenses in Michigan that can lead to the incarceration of a person, registration as a sex offender, and many other consequences. Judges and magistrates in the state may issue punishments regarding these offenses, bearing in mind certain factors. These factors include the victim’s age, previous convictions of the offender, the relationship between the offender and victim, the use of weapons in committing the offense, etc. Sex offenses identified by the Michigan Penal Code include:
Criminal Sexual Conduct in The First Degree: Under 750.520b, a person commits the offense of first-degree criminal sexual conduct if the person carries out an act of sexual penetration with another person under the following circumstances:
- Where the victim is under 13
- Where the victim is under 13 but less than 16
- The perpetrator and the victim are members of the same household
- The perpetrator and the victim are related by blood or share an affinity in the fourth degree
- Where the offender who is in a position of authority over the victim uses that authority to coerce the victim
- The offender is a staff, worker, volunteer, etc. in the school where the victim attends
- The offender works or volunteers in a child care organization or operates a foster home where the victim resides, and the act of sexual penetration occurred during the victim’s residency
Sexual penetration may also occur where, in the commission of another felony, one or more persons aid the offender and also in the following circumstances:
- Where the victim is mentally incapable, incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the offender is aware
- Where the offender is armed or uses force or coercion to achieve the sexual penetration
- Where the offender causes personal injury to the victim
First-degree criminal sexual conduct is, by law, a felony and may attract life imprisonment or any term of years. Where the offender is 17 or older and the victim, below 13, the minimum prison sentence is for 25 years. Suppose the perpetrator is 18 years or older and the victim is below 13, and the offender has committed a similar offense against a minor. In that case, the punishment is life imprisonment without the option of parole. An offender will also face lifetime electronic monitoring.
Criminal Sexual Conduct in The Second Degree: Per section 750.520c, an offender commits second-degree criminal sexual conduct, where the person engages in sexual contact with another person in the following circumstances:
- Where the victim is below 13
- Where the victim is up to 13 but below 16, and the offender is:
- A member of the same household, related by blood or affinity to the fourth degree,
- In a position of authority, and on the strength of the authority, coerces the victim into submitting to the abuse
- A teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator in a school that the victim attends
- An employee, contractual service provider, or volunteer in a school that the victim attends
- An employee, volunteer, or contractual service producer of a child care organization, or a person who operates a foster home where the victim is a residence and the sexual contact occurs during said residency
Sexual contact also occurs where, in the commission of another felony, other persons aid the offender and:
- The sex offender is aware that the victim is mentally incapacitated, incapable, or physically helpless
- The offender uses coercion or force to carry out the sexual contact
- The offender, armed with a weapon, causes injury to the victim
The offense also occurs where:
- The victim is under the custody of the Department of Corrections, and the offender is an employee or volunteer with the department.
- The offender operates a youth correctional facility and knows that the victim is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections.
- The victim is under a probationary program, and the offender being a staff of the Department of Corrections, is aware.
- The offender is a staff of a facility where the victim is detained, awaiting trial, or found guilty of committing an act that is an offense if it was committed by an adult.
Second-degree criminal sexual conduct is, by law, a felony that attracts a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The court may, in addition, sentence the offender to lifetime electronic monitoring if the offender is 17 or older and committed sexual contact against a person below 13.
Criminal Sexual Conduct in The Third Degree: Under section 750.520d, an offender commits third-degree criminal sexual conduct if the person engages in any form of sexual penetration with another person in the following circumstances:
- The victim is at least 13 but below 16
- The offender used force or coercion to achieve sexual penetration, and the victim is physically helpless, mentally incapable, or incapacitated. Also, where the victim is a relation of the offender by blood or shares an affinity in the third degree.
- The victim is up to 16 but less than 18 and a student of a school where the offender is a teacher, administrator, or another employee.
- The victim is up to 16 but less than 25 and receives special education services, while the offender is a teacher, staff, volunteer, or contractual service provider of the school, except where both are married to each other.
- The offender is a contractual service provider, employee, or volunteer in a child care organization or operates a foster home where a victim is up to 16, and the sexual penetration occurs during the victim’s residency.
Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is, by law, a felony with a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
Criminal Sexual Conduct in The Fourth Degree: Under Sec. 750.520e, an offender commits the offense of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct if the offender engages in sexual contact with another person in the following circumstances:
- Where the victim is at least 13 years old but less than 16 and the perpetrator is 5+ years older than the victim.
- Where the offender uses force or coercion to carry out the sexual contact
- Where the offender knows that the victim is mentally incapable, incapacitated, or physically helpless
- Where the perpetrator and the victim are related by blood or share an affinity to the third degree
- Where the offender is a mental health professional and the sexual contact occurred during or within two years after the victim was the client or patient and not a spouse of the offender.
- Where the victim is up to 16 years but less than 18 and a student, while the offender is a teacher, employee, volunteer, or other staff of the school in which the victim attends
- Where the victim is a special needs student and up to 16 but less than 26 and the offender is a teacher, administrator, volunteer, or contractual service provider at the school where the victim attends
- Where the offender is an employee, contractual service provider, or volunteer of a childcare organization. Or where the perpetrator operates a foster care home where the victim resides and where the victim is at least 16, with the sexual contact occurring during the victim’s residency.
Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct is a misdemeanor and attracts a maximum fine of $500, a maximum prison sentence of two years, or both. According to sec. 750.520f, if a sex offender bags a second or subsequent conviction for criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, or third-degree, the minimum prison sentence will start from five years.
Under sec. 750.520g, an act of assault by an offender with the intention of committing first-degree criminal sexual conduct, is a felony that attracts an imprisonment term of not more than ten years. Also, assault with the intent to commit second-degree criminal sexual conduct is, by law, a felony with up to five years in jail time.
What Types of Sex Offenders Exist in Michigan?
The State of Michigan classifies sex offenders in three tiers based on the severity of the crimes and how long the offenders are expected to remain on the sex offender list. A tier is a criminal law term that refers to the different classifications of sex crimes. These tiers are:
- Tier 1
- Tier 2
- Tier 3
Tier 1: Under this tier is some minor offenses that are often non-violent. These offenses include:
- Indecent exposure, including acts of self fondling before a child
- Possession of child porn
- The unlawful imprisonment or restraint of a minor
Offenders in this category must complete an in-person verification of residence and other information once a year, for 15 years. The offender must make this registration with law enforcement between the 1st and 15th of January every year. Tier 1 offenders stay in a non-public registry for the entire duration of the 15 years requirement.
Tier 2: Offences in this tier are mid-level offenses which are, in most cases, non-violent and include:
- The promotion and distribution of any form of child sexually abusive material
- Accosting, soliciting, or enticing a child for immoral purposes
- Sodomy or any crime against nature, where the victim is less than 18 but older than 13
- Second-degree criminal sexual conduct where the victim is older than 13 but less than 18
A tier 2 offender must make an in-person verification of address and other information once a year for 25 years. The offender must complete the registration between the 1st and 15th of January and also in July of each year.
Tier 3: Michigan law regards offenders in this category as worst offenders, and in most cases, these offenders are violent. Tier 3 covers serious sex offenses, which includes:
- Gross indecency against a victim that is under the age of 13
- Acts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree
- Third-degree criminal sexual conduct
- Second-degree criminal sexual conduct where the victim is younger than 13
- Assault with the intention of committing a first or third-degree criminal sexual conduct
Tier 3 offenders must make physical verifications of address and other information four times a year and for life. The offender must carry out the registration between the 1st and 15th of January, April, July, and October every year.
How to Find a Sex Offender Near Me in Michigan
The Sex Offenders Registration Act mandates the Michigan State Police (MSP) to maintain a public registry and make certain sex offender information available to the public. In Michigan, there are two main ways to find sex offender information. They are:
The Sex Offender Registry is a database of all sex offender registration records in Michigan. These records include public and non-public offender information, but it is only available for law enforcement purposes.
The Public Sex Offender Registry is an internet website that displays the information on the SOR database for public viewing. The MSP updates the website frequently with information gotten from public records. The implication is that the offenders may not provide accurate information, and the information contained on the PSOR may not always be accurate because of this. Interested persons may have to contact the sheriff’s office or local law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over the offender’s residence.
Alternatively, individuals may search the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. It is a site created and maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice and allows interested persons to check the sex offender registries of different states.
What Happens When You Register as a Sex Offender in Michigan?
Persons convicted of sex offenses in Michigan face dire consequences, one of which is to register as a sex offender. In Michigan, the Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA) mandates persons convicted of a sex offense to provide current contact information and other details to the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR), which maintains these records and makes the information available to the public. Different kinds of convictions can lead to registration, like indecent exposure, child sexual abuse, criminal sexual conduct, solicitation, kidnapping of a minor, etc.
The effect of this registration may follow a person for many years or the duration of the offender’s life. It affects the ability of an offender to live in certain places like around a school, playground, or other areas where children live or come around. It gives the public knowledge of the location of sex offenders who may pose a threat to the community. Also, it creates a social stigma and possible harassment of the offender by members of the public.
Most times, registered sex offenders are denied employment opportunities because of their status. Those with active jobs before the conviction get sacked upon conviction. While such actions are often sheer stigmatizations, they are sometimes a necessity if the organization where the offender was attached is a school or any other organization that will bring the offender in contact with children or victims.
The failure of a sex offender to register on the SOR is a serious criminal offense in Michigan. Under Section 28.729 of the Sex Offender Registration Act, the willful failure to register or verify sex offender information with law enforcement information is a felony. The penalties are as follows:
- A first-time failure to register attracts a maximum of four years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,000
- A second-time failure to register attracts a maximum prison sentence of seven years and a maximum fine of $5,000
- A third or subsequent offense of failure to register attracts a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000
A judge or magistrate may impose stiffer penalties differently from those provided by the act, provided the penalties are reasonable for the offense and circumstances. If the failure to register is not willful, it is a misdemeanor and attracts up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,000. However, the recent House Bill 5679 signed by the Governor of Michigan lifted certain restrictions imposed on offenders by the Michigan Sex Offenders Registry Act. Some of these changes include:
- Persons on the registry may now live, work, or loiter within 1000 feet of school property and other safety zones. The reason for this change is that restricting sex offenders from certain safety zones left many with nowhere to live, amounting to banishment.
- Where the offense of a sex offender is expunged, such an offender’s name may be removed from the Public Sex Offender Registry.
What is the Michigan Sex Offender Registry?
The Michigan Sex Offender Registry maintains and regularly updates all convicted sex offenders and sexual predators in the state. The SOR may feature sex offender details, such as names and known aliases, birth date, registration number, offense information, and photographs. Under the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act, all persons convicted of sexual-related crimes must register with the local and state custodial agencies in charge of the registration. Registration on the SOR is dependent on the severity of the crime: from 15 years registration for Tier I offenders to life registration for Tier III offenders.
Interested members of the public may also obtain public record information from third-party websites. These privately owned sites typically host data culled from public databases and repositories. However, the information available on third-party sites may vary since they are independent of government sources. In order to use a third-party site, record seekers may be required to provide all or some of the following information:
- The full name on the record of choice
- The last known or current address of the named individual
- The address of the requestor
Who Runs the Michigan Sex Offender Registry?
The Sex Offenders Registration Act, MCL 28.721et seq., empowers the Michigan State Police as the custodian of the state’s sex offenders registry. It regularly updates sex offenders’ information according to the current statute and legislative changes. In addition, the Michigan State Police requires sex offenders to update their whereabouts with the law enforcement agencies or other supervisory bodies in their locality.
Who Can View Michigan Sex Offender Registry?
Any interested person may view sex offenders’ information via the MSP’s Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR). In contrast, the MSP’s Sex Offender is not accessible to the public members. Only law enforcement agencies and supervisory bodies such as the Department of Corrections can access the platform. The SOR contains non-public sexual offender information.
Who is Exempt From the Michigan Sex Offender Registry?
Not all sex offenders in Michigan are listed on Sex Offender Registry. Sex offenders may be exempted for the following reasons:
- The sex offender is dead;
- The offender was adjudicated as a minor and not convicted as an adult;
- Does not live in the state (offenders must notify the MSP Sex Offender Unit three days before moving out of state);
- The offender’s conviction date was before the Sex Offenders Act was in effect (before October 1, 1995), and the offender was not convicted for the same offense after the Act;
- The offender was removed from the PSOR by a judge;
- The duration the person was required to register has passed;
What are the Sex Offender Laws in Michigan?
The Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act is the sole sex offender law in the state. It oversees the registration, notification, and movement of convicted sex offenders. The SORA was amended on December 31, 2020, to conform its requirements to the following laws:
- Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
- The Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
The MCL 28.725(1) requires registered sex offenders to update their status when there’s a change in name, employment, residence or domicile, enrollment as a student. Registered sex offenders must update their status in person at the local and state law enforcement agencies.
In addition to this, the MCL 28.725(2) requires sex offenders to update a change in their email address, phone numbers, vehicle information, or social media user names not more than three business days after the change at the local or law enforcement agencies.
The amended Sex Offenders Registration Act prohibits publishing sex offender’s tier levels on the Public Sex Offender Registry. Also, it repealed the student safety zone requirement. Therefore, sex offenders are no longer restricted from living, loitering, or working within 1000 feet of school property.
Can a Sex Offender Live With Their Family in Michigan?
The Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act does not prevent sex offenders from living with persons related by blood or marriage. However, the Registration Act allows for a case-by-case basis if the crime victim is the sex offender’s family member. Generally, the courts will determine if the family members are in inherent danger.
How Long Do Sex Offenders Have to Register in Michigan?
Compulsory registration for sex offenders varies from 15 years to a lifetime. The registration duration is dependent on the sex offender’s tier level. For instance, Tier I and Tier II sex offenders have to register for 15 years and 25 years, respectively. Moreover, Tier III offenders must register at a local or state law enforcement agency all their lives.
Do Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors in Michigan?
Sex offenders residing in Michigan are not mandated to notify neighbors of their sex offender status. In addition, registered sex offenders can now work, loiter, and live within school safety zones due to an amendment of the State’s Sex Offender Registration Act. However, the Act requires sex offenders to notify their local law enforcement agency three days before moving to a new location.
If the offender moves to another state, the MSP removes their names from the registry and notifies the other state of the offender’s new address. Sex offenders moving to another country must notify their local law enforcement in writing or in-person 21 days before moving. Also, they are required to provide their new address.
The Michigan State Police maintains and regularly sex offender information via the Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR). The PSOR enables interested persons to conduct searches for sex offenders in their neighborhoods. The record seeker must input the address, city, zip code, and offender address type to access the information. The platform also enables residents to get an electronic mail notification every time a sex offender moves into their neighborhood.
In addition to this, public members can track or monitor the custody status of offenders in the state’s correctional facilities through the Michigan Victim Information Notification (MI-VINE). The MI-VINE is an automated and confidential platform that enables public members to get information by email, phone call, or text when an offender’s custody status changes.
Do Offenders Have to Put Up a Sign in Michigan?
Sex offenders in Michigan are not required to put a sign in their yard. However, the state permits the use of GPS monitoring devices to track paroled sex offender’s locations in real-time. For instance, offenders convicted of criminal sexual conduct of the first degree or second degree are subjected to a lifetime of electronic monitoring. However, GPS monitoring does not apply to sex offenders convicted of an attempt to commit sex crimes.
According to the MCL 750.520n, offenders who deface or remove the GPS monitoring device must pay a $2,000 fine or spend a maximum of two years in jail. In addition to this, paroled sex offenders must reimburse the Michigan Department of Correction for the cost of GPS monitoring. They can make the payment via cashier’s checks or money orders payable to the Michigan Department of Corrections to the mail address below:
Michigan DOC Fee Payment
P.O. Box 674178
Detroit, MI 48267-4178
In contrast, GPS monitored sex offenders may pay the fees online via the http://michigan.feeservice.com/. The online platform charges a $2.5 convenience fee per payment.
How Close Can a Sex Offender Live to a School in Michigan?
Sex offenders can live, work, and loiter around schools in Michigan, depending on the nature and severity of the sex crimes. In other words, some registered sex offenders are allowed to live close to schools, while others may be restricted from living or working within 1,000 feet of schools or events involving minors. The Michigan Department of Corrections restricts paroled sex offenders convicted of serious sex crimes from working or living within 1,000 feet of a school. Paroled sex offenders are restricted from participating in school volunteering sessions and other minor-related activities. Therefore, courts in Michigan determine whether a sex offender can live close to a school.
In 2006, the Sex Offenders Registration Act was amended to restrict offenders from working, living, or loitering within 1,000 feet of a school. Due to the restriction, offenders convicted after the amendment had to move their families or change their workplace from the restricted areas. In December 2020, the restrictions were lifted to allow non-paroled sex offenders to live close to schools.
How to Lookup Sex Offenders in Michigan
The Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry serves as the main repository of all information on registered sex offenders in the state. It regularly updates the addition and removal of sex offenders and features details, such as the name, address, photograph, and internet usernames. The Michigan State Police, which hosts the searchable database, collates information from local law enforcement bodies in the state’s cities and counties. In addition, the PSOR maintains an email notification system to notify residents when sex offenders move into the neighborhood. The PSOR provides different search categories, including name-based search, geography-based search, and non-compliant sex offenders.
Michigan Sex Offender Name-Based Search
State residents and non-residents can obtain sex offender information using the name-based search option by inputting the offender’s first and last name.
Michigan Sex Offender Geography-Based Search
Members of the public can also access Michigan sex offender information by filling out the offender’s address, city, zip code, and street name. Furthermore, there’s an option where public members can select the type of address: work address, home address, or school address.
Michigan Sex Offender Non-Compliant Search
The PSOR also maintains data of sex offenders who failed to adhere to the PSOR’s rules and guidelines. Public members can view the full list on the online platform.
Can You Expunge a Sex Offender Charge in Michigan
Persons can expunge their sex offender charge by petitioning the judge of the court where the case was handled. The Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act permits sex offenders to expunge their sex offender charges if they qualify for the following criteria:
- The offender is a Tier I offender and convicted as an adult.
- The offender was adjudicated as a juvenile and a Tier III offender (MCL 28.722 defines Tier III offenses).
- Sex Offense was a result of a consensual sexual act between the victim and the offender, and if the offense is listed in sections (s), (u), or (w) of MCL 28.722.
- Offender registered under the SORA before July 1, 2011, for an offense that no longer requires registration after July 1, 2011.
Offenders who fulfill the above-mentioned criteria can expunge their information from the PSOR using the Petition to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration and Order. To expunge the sex charges, offenders may represent themselves or hire an attorney for the process. Offenders must print, fill, and sign the petition under oath in front of a notary public. Subsequently, offenders may file the petition with the court in person or via first-class mail.
Is Public Urination an Offense in Michigan?
Generally, public urination is not a sex crime in Michigan. Public urination offenders may pay fines up to $1000 or spend up to 90 days in prison for a criminal misdemeanor. However, public urination may serve as the precursor to more serious sex crimes, such as indecent exposure and disorderly persons offenses.
What is Indecent Exposure in Michigan?
Per the MCL 750.335a, indecent exposure is a more serious crime and can lead to sex offender registration. The statute defines indecent exposure as the intentional exposure of a person’s genitals or nude body to other persons. However, it becomes aggravated indecent exposure when a person intentionally exposes the body for sexual gratifications. In other words, a person is convicted of aggravated indecent exposure if another person saw the offender fondling the genitals while urinating in public. Sometimes, the conviction comes with a sex offender registration as a Tier I offender. An aggravated indecent exposure conviction carries a maximum of two years in jail and a $2,000 fine in Michigan.
What is Disorderly Persons Charge in Michigan
According to the MCL 750.167, a disorderly person is one who is intoxicated in a public place and acting in a manner that causes a public disturbance. In addition, a disorderly person charge is used for those that engage in obscene or indecent conduct in a public place, for example, urinating in public.
How to Report a Sex Offender in Michigan
Members of the public can report a suspected sex offender by contacting the local law enforcement agency in that region. The Agency will take appropriate measures to ensure that the erring sex offender is apprehended and convicted, according to the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act.
Failing to register as a sex offender is a serious criminal offense. Under Section 28.729 of the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act, sex offenders who fail to register on the online registry will face the following penalties:
- For a first-time offense, sex offenders may face up to four years in prison and pay a $2,000 fine.
- For second-time offenses, sex offenders face a maximum of 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- For a third-time offense, sex offenders may spend a maximum of 7 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $10,000.
However, courts in Michigan might sentence sex offenders to a penalty different from those outlined. According to a Michigan Supreme Court judgment in 2015, judges may view statutory penalties as guidelines and not as mandates.