Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Michigan

Michigan does not currently have a statute that specifically STATEaddresses sexting. Therefore, in the State of Michigan anyone who creates, distributes or possesses an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit conduct may be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws and, if convicted, will generally serve time in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Legislative Summary

The State of Michigan has not created a separate statute to address sexting crimes. Therefore, a minor who is caught with a sexually explicit image of another minor on their phone could be charged with a felony under the State’s child pornography statutes. Furthermore, if a minor is convicted he/she could serve time in prison as well as will be required to register as a sex offender.

Law and Punishment

In general, under Michigan law it is illegal to:

  • Persuade, induce, entice, coerce, cause or knowingly allow a minor to engage in a sexually explicit activity.
    • If convicted under this provision, an individual could face up to 20 years in jail or a fine of up to $100,000.
  • Distribute, promote or finance the distribution of an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit activity.
    • If convicted under this provision, an individual could face up to 7 years in jail, or a fine up to $50,000.
  • Knowingly possess an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit activity.
    • If convicted under this provision, an individual could face up to 4 years in jail or a fine of up to $10,000.

sobering reality

Register as a sex offender.

4 to 20 years in jail.

Up to $100,000 in fines.

Latest News Concerning Sexting in Michigan

Are Your Teens Sexting?

CBS 62 Detroit | March 20, 2012

Sextortion case should be wakeup call

Niles Star | February 1, 2012

Sexting, teenagers and the law (with poll)

Kalamazoo Gazette | January 31, 2012

Marquette teens in trouble for sexting

Upper Michigan Source | May 18, 2011

Public Forum to Address Teen Sexting

CBS Detroit | May 4, 2011

Sexting can land teenagers in jail

Michigan Live | April 30, 2011

County Prosecutor: Penalties Tough for Sexting

West Bloomfield Patch | April 21, 2011

Teens learning a tough lesson after sexting

CBS Detroit | April 14, 2011

The Blue and Gold: Sexting Is No Joke

HSJ | February 25, 2011

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