Indecent Exposure Can Qualify as a Felony or Misdemeanor Charge
If you face Indecent Exposure allegations, the possibility of a conviction can be frightening. In many cases, seeking dismissal of charges and avoiding jail is possible.
What You Need to Know About Indecent Exposure Charges in Michigan
Indecent exposure charges are unsettling. Fortunately, things rarely turn out to be as horrible as one may anticipate while facing such an offense. A person may have trouble sleeping if they worry about registering as a sex offender and serving jail time. The good news is that our attorneys can typically help the firm’s clients steer clear of those consequences. Many times, those outcomes are altogether avoidable.
What does indecent exposure mean?
Generally, indecent exposure is openly or indecently exposing someone’s genitalia to another. The person must know their genitals were exposed; the exposure cannot be accidental. Additionally, the exposure must have occurred in a public or private place where either:
- another person is present, and there was a substantial risk that someone might be offended, or
- in a place where such exposure is likely to be an offense against the community’s generally accepted standards of decency and morality.
It is not necessary that someone actually see the accused exposed genitals for an Indecent Exposure charge. A mother’s breastfeeding a child or expressing breast milk does not constitute indecent or obscene conduct. Under the law, it is not a defense that only consenting adults viewed the indecent exposure of the defendant’s genitals. The First Amendment does not protect expression that includes the indecent exposure of genitalia.
What is the penalty for misdemeanor Indecent Exposure?
A person convicted of misdemeanor Indecent Exposure faces up to 1 year in jail, two (2) years of probation, a $1,000 fine plus court costs, mandatory mental health counseling, restitution for psychological damages to any victims, and other terms and conditions of probation.
In addition to the direct consequences of a conviction, an Indecent Exposure conviction can have collateral consequences, such as loss of employment, inability to obtain or advance in a career, divorce, loss of parenting time or custody, damaged reputation, and the loss of various civil rights.
What is Aggravated Indecent Exposure?
Aggravated Indecent Exposure occurs when someone fondles their genitalia where there is a substantial risk of another person viewing the activity or an area where they should reasonably expect another person to be present.
The potential penalty for Aggravated Indecent Exposure, a felony, is up to two (2) years in prison, five (5) years of probation, a $2,000 fine plus court costs, mandatory mental health counseling, restitution for psychological damages to any victims, and other terms and conditions of probation.
Potential Life Sentence for a Sexually Delinquent Person
If a person previously found guilty of being a Sexually Delinquent Person is convicted of an Indecent Exposure charge, the sentence will be one (1) day to life in prison. A judge has no discretion to sentence the defendant to probation or county jail. A prison sentence is mandatory.
Michigan law defines a “sexually delinquent person” as “any person whose sexual behavior is characterized by repetitive or compulsive acts which indicate a disregard of consequences or the recognized rights of others, or by the use of force upon another person in attempting sex relations of either a heterosexual or homosexual nature, or by the commission of sexual aggressions against children under the age of 16.”
Sex Offender Registration
Following their release into the community, sex offenders (including those convicted of Indecent Exposure charges) are monitored and tracked via a system called the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). The registration gives crucial details, such as the offender’s identity, present location, and prior offenses, to local, state, and federal authorities and the general public concerning convicted sex offenders. A person convicted of Aggravated Indecent Exposure or a Sexually Delinquent Person must register under the Michigan SORA. There are three categories of registration:
- Sex Offender Registry as a Tier I offender if the victim is a minor.
- Sex Offender Registry as a Tier II offender if BOTH the victim is a minor AND the individual was already a Tier I offender.
- Sex Offender Registry as a Tier III offender if BOTH the victim is a minor AND the individual was already a Tier II offender.
All Hope Is Not Lost
Although facing Indecent Exposure charges can be embarrassing and scary, the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has had consistent success negotiating with prosecutors for reduced or dismissed charges and with judges for lenient sentences. In most cases, we can plea bargain for disorderly conduct or another similarly innocuous offense. We have an unparalleled track record for persuading judges to accept delayed sentences or a plea under advisement that does not result in a conviction. Our experience is that those charged with Indecent Exposure generally acted impulsively or without considering potential consequences. For example, someone might face charges if caught urinating in public while intoxicated. In rare circumstances when someone has a legitimate mental health concern, we work with renowned experts who can generally offer a favorable evaluation and effective treatment when necessary. On the other hand, someone might be falsely accused and innocent of the allegations.
Regardless of the circumstances, call us for a free consultation. We will find a way to help mitigate the sentence and potentially help you avoid an Indecent Exposure conviction.
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.