Is Sexting a Crime in Michigan?

Person under covers using cellphone in dark room

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people have turned to online relationships and simulating intimate experiences through lewd photos and videos. This phenomenon, also called sexting, has become a normal part of modern relationships. But what happens if someone sends an unwanted or potentially illegal photo? Is sexting a crime in Michigan? Let’s take a closer look.

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Is Sexting a Crime?

No. Sexting in Michigan is not a crime so long as it is done between two consenting adults. That said, sending illicit images to or receiving sexts from someone under 16 years old could be grounds for charges of child pornography, even if the couple might otherwise qualifyunder Romeo and Juliet law.

Issues of sexting minors can become especially difficult when it comes to Michigan’s child pornography laws. The general age of consent in Michigan is 16, but child pornography laws often apply to photos or videos taken of someone under the age of 18. This could potentially lead to child pornography charges and joining the sex offender registry (SORA) for receiving photos of someone who otherwise meets the age of consent.

What Happens Next?

While sexting is typically not a crime, it is important that those accused of possessing or creating child pornography depicting people over the age of 16 seek advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Someone convicted on these charges may have to join the sex offender registry, face a fine of at least $10,000, and may face several years in confinement.

If you’ve been falsely accused, a skillful attorney can negotiate on your behalf and may be able to either have the charges dismissed or plea to a lesser charge that does not require SORA registration.

If you have been falsely accused of criminal sexual conduct, it’s crucial that you have experienced counsel to defend you. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a Michigan criminal defense attorney from Levine & Levine Attorneys at Law, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (269) 218-8880.

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