The State of Michigan has answered this question in a simple phrase:
For most purposes, you become an adult when you turn 18, as established by The Age of Majority Act. However, other periods can be significant depending on legal issues. For example, under Michigan law, a person is considered an adult for purposes of criminal law at age 17. So, if a 17-year-old is accused of a crime, he/she will be tried as an adult in either district or circuit court rather than in family court. Similarly, Michigan's Constitution establishes the legal drinking age as 21. Also, if you are emancipated, then you are legally an adult.
Here at Haque Legal, we want to dive further into this question. Read on to learn more about it.
When Will Michigan Law Consider You an Adult?
At an essential turning point in life, transitioning from adolescence to adulthood marks freedom and responsibility for those involved.
Within Michigan state laws and depending on contexts, when laws consider you an adult can vary, so we've broken down different thresholds that define adulthood in Michigan as part of this exploration of Michigan law and adulthood thresholds.
Majority Age Group: 18 Years Old
Under Michigan law, 18 is generally recognized as an age when individuals become adults with legal rights and responsibilities, including entering contracts, making medical decisions on your own, voting in elections, and getting married without parental permission - commonly referred to as "age of majority."
Voting: 18 Years Old
One of the greatest privileges associated with reaching the age of majority is voting. Michigan residents can register as voters when they turn 18. By giving your voice within politics and shaping decisions that affect communities, states, and nations, your agent can help shape the political landscape and impact decisions that affect you directly.
Tobacco and E-Cigarette Users Age 21 or Older
Michigan, by federal law, raised the legal age requirement to purchase tobacco products (cigarettes and electronic cigarettes) to 21 - thus making you at least 21 to legally buy these items.
Michigan follows federal law regarding alcohol by setting the minimum drinking age at 21. To purchase or consume alcoholic beverages legally in Michigan, consumers must be at least 21 years old. This requirement does not only apply in Michigan but all across America as part of an effort to promote responsible drinking behavior and lower risks associated with underage consumption of booze.
Criminal Liability at 17 Years Old
Michigan considers those aged 17 or over to be adults in terms of criminal responsibility, meaning if an offense committed at age 17 results in criminal charges and sentencing as adults within its criminal justice system. There may be exceptions where rehabilitation rather than punishment should take precedence in certain instances for juvenile offenders who commit acts while still under 18.
Employment Opportunities is between 14-18 Years of Age
Michigan law permits young workers as young as 14 to seek employment legally; the specific ages and types of jobs available to minors will depend upon various restrictions put into effect to safeguard the health and welfare of young workers.
Emancipation Potential in Minors
Under certain conditions, Michigan minors can petition the courts for legal emancipation before reaching the age of majority, which legally acknowledges them as adults and allows them to make their own financial and living arrangements without restriction or interference by anyone. Emancipation usually requires court approval and evidence showing they can financially sustain themselves while making wise choices independently.
Michigan law generally defines you as an adult at 18 for most purposes; however, there may be exceptions and variations related to substances and criminal justice matters, making knowing these distinctions essential for successfully and responsibly transitioning to adulthood. Navigating this journey marks milestones along its route - so understanding its legal framework plays an integral part of that journey.