Mike Kelly, Criminal Law Attorney at Kelly & Kelly Law, professional headshot with black background
Legally Reviewed by: Mike Kelly
Partner, Juvenile Lawyer

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Juvenile defense attorneys are key advocates for minors facing legal challenges, ensuring their rights are protected within the legal system. They handle a wide array of cases, extending beyond school disciplinary actions to encompass serious criminal charges, including juvenile sex offenses.

Kelly & Kelly P.C. boasts extensive expertise in juvenile law, delivering comprehensive legal representation to minors across diverse situations—from school-related incidents to grave legal matters. Our firm is dedicated to offering both guidance and support to minors and their families as they maneuver through the intricate juvenile legal framework.

A misstep in youth, such as involvement in a juvenile sex offense, does not have to result in incarceration or irrevocably harm one’s future prospects.

Juvenile Sexual Assault

Juvenile sexual assault charges involve legal actions taken against minors who are accused of engaging in non-consensual sexual acts. These charges are serious and can have profound implications for the accused, including potential detention, mandatory registration as a sex offender, and other long-term legal and social consequences.

The juvenile justice system is tasked with balancing the need for public safety and the rehabilitation of the young offender, often focusing on therapy and educational programs designed to address underlying behavioral issues and promote positive development. Despite the emphasis on rehabilitation, the gravity of these charges underscores the importance of skilled legal representation to navigate the complexities of the case, ensuring the rights of the accused are protected while also acknowledging the severity of the allegations and the impact on victims.

Juvenile Statutory Rape

Juvenile statutory rape occurs when a minor engages in consensual sexual activities with another individual who is below the age of consent, as defined by law. This charge highlights the legal principle that minors are not capable of giving informed consent to sexual activities, due to their age. Statutory rape laws are designed to protect young people from exploitation and abuse, regardless of the presence or absence of perceived consent from the younger party involved.

In cases involving juvenile perpetrators, the legal system often grapples with the challenge of balancing accountability with the need for rehabilitation, acknowledging that both individuals involved are minors. The focus is not only on penalizing unlawful behavior but also on addressing the circumstances leading to the offense, with an aim towards education, rehabilitation, and preventing future offenses, while also considering the well-being and protection of the victim.

Juvenile Sexting Charges

Juvenile sexting charges involve minors sending, receiving, or possessing sexually explicit images or messages through electronic devices, a phenomenon that has become increasingly common with the proliferation of smartphones and social media. These charges can have serious legal consequences, including potential classification as a sex offender, despite the often consensual nature of the exchange between minors.

Legal systems struggle with how best to address juvenile sexting, aiming to balance the need for education about the risks and consequences of sharing explicit content with the desire to avoid unnecessarily harsh penalties that could have long-lasting effects on a young person’s life. Efforts typically focus on prevention through education, emphasizing the importance of digital responsibility and the potential for significant, unintended legal and social consequences.

Michigan Age of Consent

In Michigan, the age of consent is set at 16 years old. This legal threshold signifies the age at which an individual is considered legally competent to consent to sexual activities with another person. Engaging in sexual conduct with someone under the age of consent can lead to charges of statutory rape or other sexual offenses, regardless of whether the minor verbally agrees to the activity.

It’s crucial to understand that Michigan law also considers the ages between the involved parties and may impose stricter penalties if there is a significant age difference. The law is designed to protect minors from exploitation and abuse, reflecting the state’s commitment to safeguarding the well-being of young individuals. Additionally, there are exceptions and specific circumstances under Michigan law that can impact the legality of such relationships, including the roles of authority figures and the nature of the relationship between the parties involved.

Our Juvenile Defense Attorneys

This page was legally reviewed by Michael Kelly. Michael has been a practicing criminal defense attorney and juvenile lawyer for many years. Throughout this time he’s represented clients through various complex issues involving the education and criminal court system. This includes, representing students accused of criminal offenses, suspension/expulsion, DUI/OWI charges, expungements, and more. Michael has served on the ICLE Criminal Law Advisory Board and is recognized as top 10 Under 40 for Criminal Defense in Michigan by The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He also regularly contributes to the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) as a speaker on issues involving criminal law and juvenile defense.