Why You Need A Lawyer For An Indecent Exposure Charge

Having the right Michigan criminal defense lawyer can prevent a conviction that violates a constitutional right, such as double jeopardy.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

An Example of Injustice in the American Judicial System

In 2012, the Michigan Court of Appeals considered a case involving double jeopardy and sexually delinquent person charges. The case involved a defendant convicted of one count of indecent exposure and one aggravated count. The trial judge sentenced the defendant to 34 months to 15 years on the first count and one day to life for Indecent Exposure under a “sexual deviant status.”

The court of appeals found that the circuit erred in sentencing the defendant as a sexually delinquent person without holding a hearing to determine if the defendant was sexually delinquent. When adjudicating a defendant as a “sexually delinquent person” is an issue, the court must examine witnesses relative to the person’s sexual delinquency before sentencing.

Indecent Exposure and Double Jeopardy

The court further vacated the conviction for indecent exposure based on double jeopardy grounds. Both the United States Constitution and the Michigan Constitution protect an individual from being placed twice in jeopardy for the same offense. Aggravated and misdemeanor indecent exposure are the same offense for double jeopardy analysis. The court stated, “The offense of indecent exposure does not contain any elements that are distinct from the offense of aggravated indecent exposure. Therefore, because the legislature has not expressed a clear intent to permit multiple punishments for the same conduct, this defendant cannot be convicted of both offenses.”

Attorney - Michigan - Awards

What if I Didn’t Intend for Anyone to See My Genitals?

You would have a defense if you did not intend for anyone to see your indecent exposure in Michigan. Indecent Exposure requires the defendant to openly expose their genitals, buttocks, or breasts in an area where another person might observe them. It is not necessary for anybody to actually witness the indecent exposure; nonetheless, the offender must intend to expose themselves in a location where someone else could reasonably view the exposure. For example, getting undressed in front of an open window is not permitted. The accused’s intent is a critical component and a necessary factor. According to Michigan law, you may be able to defend yourself against the charge if you exposed yourself in a setting where you reasonably expected some degree of seclusion and had no intention of anyone else witnessing it.

Indecent Exposure Charges Should Not Be Taken Lightly

You should concentrate on defending your rights if you face allegations or charges of indecent exposure, aggravated indecent exposure, or indecent exposure while being sexually delinquent. Accusations of sex crimes will damage your reputation and leave a shameful blot on your record. Unfortunately, the reasons for the allegations could be as trivial as the desire to use the restroom without a nearby facility or as severe as exposing yourself to a youngster. You might have to register as a sexual offender and risk receiving jail time.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers Who Have Decades of Experience

Call us if you need a top Michigan criminal defense attorney for an indecent exposure charge or any felony or misdemeanor case. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are experienced criminal defense lawyers with a track record of successfully protecting and defending our clients against criminal charges. We use a unique team approach involving multiple lawyers collaborating in each client’s defense. Our firm can achieve outcomes unobtainable by many other lawyers through the cooperation of numerous seasoned defense lawyers. We often say, “when a client walks into the courtroom with a member of our team, our collective experience and reputation are with them.”

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

Contact Us - Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys