Do Juveniles Have to Register as Sex Offenders If They Are Convicted of a Sex Crime?

At Prain Law, PLLC, our law firm has handled countless cases involving juveniles who are facing Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) charges. Like adults, juveniles can also be prosecuted for Criminal Sexual Conduct, as well as other sex crimes. Unless the case is a "waiver" case, the process for prosecuting a juvenile is slightly different. Instead of being "convicted" or "sentenced," juveniles are adjudicated "responsible" and subjected to a juvenile "disposition."

In the state of Michigan, there are four basic categories for CSC charges:

  • 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
  • 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
  • 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
  • 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Below, we explain if a juvenile can be put on the Sex Offender Registry in Michigan.

Sex Offenders Registration Act

Under the Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA), if a person was under the age of 14 at the time of the commission of the alleged CSC, their offense will not be placed on SORA. This is true regardless of what degree of Criminal Sexual Conduct the juvenile is charged for. However, if a person is “14 years of age or older at the time of the offense," they can be forced to register under SORA. Thus, a juvenile as young as 14 years old could end up having to register as a sex offender in the state of Michigan. Juveniles who were between 14 and 16 years old at the time of the commission, only have to register if their crime is considered a "Tier 3 offense" under SORA.

Tier 3 offenses are the most serious offenses, and include:

  • Gross Indecency
  • Assault With Intent to Commit CSC Involving Sexual Penetration
  • Assault With Intent to Commit CSC in the 2nd Degree
  • Unlawful Imprisonment
  • Kidnapping

In Michigan, being registered as a Tier 3 sex offender lasts for life, but it is only on the non-public Sex Offender Registry, unless the juvenile is convicted as an adult. A juvenile can petition to have their registration reduced to 25 years. If the juveniles’ case meets the criteria set forth in Michigan's "Romeo and Juliet" law, they can avoid registering all together.

The following strategies can be used by an experienced lawyer to keep a juvenile off the Sex Offender Registry:

  • Going to trial and pursuing a verdict of NOT GUILTY
  • Pleading down to a lesser charge or a charge that is not a Tier 3 offense
  • Pleading down to a lesser offense that applies to the Juvenile Diversion Act
  • Having the case placed on the Consent Calendar

Michigan Sex Crimes Attorney

Do you have a juvenile child who is facing criminal charges for a sex crime? If so, you should immediately consult with our legal professionals to discuss all of your options. At Prain Law, PLLC, we are committed to helping our clients seek the justice that they deserve. We will stand by your side throughout your entire case to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected. Let put out skills and resources to work for you today.

Call (248) 731-4543 to request a free consultation with a sex crimes lawyer in Michigan.


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Prain Law, PLLC is focused only on the types charges featured on our website. This helps us deliver the decisive, effective advocacy for which our clients know us. We only serve individuals currently under investigation or who have a current case pending in court. Our firm does not represent injury victims, defendants who have already taken a plea or have been sentenced, or those seeking to expunge a criminal record. We do not respond to anyone who is not involved in a pending investigation or who has a court case for a type of charge we do not handle, but we wish you the very best of luck.