Confusion Persists Regarding Michigan Sex Offenders Registry

In an effort to bring the Michigan sex crimes registry more in line with federal reporting guidelines, the Michigan legislature recently made several changes regarding how people are listed on the sex offender registry. A main reform was to divide the types of offenders in tiers. However, a recent Michigan sex offender story reveals that despite the changes, many people still have questions about the registry, including what each tier means, and what reporting rules offenders must follow.

If you are required to place your name on the sex crimes registry, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable Michigan sex crimes lawyer. The terms are confusing, and if you fail to follow proper guidelines, you may find yourself faces additional penalties, even jail time.

Last year in an effort to differentiate the most serious sex offenders from those with lesser convictions, a new law went into effect splitting those required to register into 3 tiers.

Descriptions of the new tiers are as follows:

• First-Tier Offenders: These are the least serious sex-offenses and includes such offenses as indecent exposure and possession of child pornography. Individuals may be required to register for 15 years.

• Second-Tier Offenders: These include people convicted on mid-level offenses such as date rape and soliciting prostitutes under age 18. The names of individuals convicted of second-tier offenses will appear publicly on the sex offender registry for 25 years.

• Third-Tier Offenders: These include people convicted of the most serious sex offenses, such as first degree criminal sexual conduct. These people’s names will appear on the public sex offender registry for life.


The tiers still remain confusing and contain reporting requirements are too complex for most individuals to fully understand. However, if you fail to meet these requirements the Act may impose harsh penalties. If you are unclear about what specific reporting requirements are necessary to comply with the Act, contact an experienced Michigan sex crimes attorney at Grabel & Associates for an immediate consultation.

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