MCOA Remands a Sexual Delinquency Conviction to the Trial Court

Defendants facing sexually delinquent person allegations have an uphill battle right from the beginning.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

It Takes a Top Lawyer to Get Fair Treatment in a Sexually Delinquent Person Case

A sexually delinquent person is defined by MCL 750.10 as any person whose sexual behavior is characterized by any of the following: repetitive or compulsive acts that indicate a disregard of consequences or the recognized rights of others; the use of force upon another person in attempting sex relations of either a heterosexual or homosexual nature; or the commission of sexual aggressions against children under 16 years. Sexual delinquency can only be charged in conjunction with the charges of Gross Indecency (MCL 750.338; MCL 750.338a; MCL 750.338b), Crime Against Nature (MCL 750.158), or Indecent Exposure (MCL 750.335a). Defendants facing sexually delinquent person allegations might feel the presumption of innocence doesn’t apply to them because judges and prosecutors are biased in these cases.

People v. Franklin

In People v. Franklin, the defendant entered a plea of nolo contendere to aggravated indecent exposure and indecent exposure. The defendant was sentenced as a habitual fourth offender. The court sentenced him to 34 months to 15 years in prison for aggravated indecent exposure and one day to life in prison for indecent exposure under a sexual deviant charge, MCL 750.335a(2)(c). The Michigan Court of Appeals vacated his convictions for indecent exposure and sexual delinquency.

The Court held that the trial court erred by sentencing the defendant as a sexually delinquent person because it failed to hold a separate hearing to establish whether the sexual deviant allegations were true, regardless of his plea subjecting him to sentencing as such. The Court remanded the case with instructions to conduct a hearing on this matter. The Court further held that the defendant’s convictions of aggravated indecent exposure and indecent exposure violated his double jeopardy rights.

Attorney - Michigan - Awards

Sexually Delinquent Person Allegations – What You Need to Know

In Michigan, the charge of being a “sexually delinquent person” is a legal designation that applies to certain sex crime convictions. This designation can have significant consequences for the individual so charged. Even allegations of someone being a sexually delinquent person can have life-altering consequences. Here are the critical elements involved in this charge:

Definition of Sexual Delinquency: Under Michigan law, a “sexually delinquent person” is defined as someone whose sexual behavior is considered out of control and a danger to society. This typically involves a pattern of repeated offenses or conduct that demonstrates a persistent and compulsive tendency to commit sexual offenses.

Qualifying Offenses: Not all sex crimes automatically lead to a designation as a sexually delinquent person. The designation usually applies to more serious sexual offenses and requires a pattern or a particularly egregious instance of sexual misconduct.

Duration of the Behavior: The law considers the length of time the sexually delinquent behavior has occurred. A single incident is less likely to result in this designation than repeated offenses over a period of time.

Assessment of Sexual Behavior: The court will assess the nature of the individual’s sexual behavior. This often involves a psychological evaluation to determine if the person exhibits tendencies that endanger the public.

Legal Process: Being labeled a sexually delinquent person generally occurs as part of the sentencing process for a sexual offense. The court makes the determination based on the evidence presented during the trial or plea proceedings.

Sentencing Implications: A “Sexually Delinquent Person” designation can significantly affect sentencing. In Michigan, a person adjudged to be sexually delinquent can face an indeterminate sentence, which means the length of imprisonment can range from a minimum set by statute to life imprisonment.

Impact on Parole and Release: Sexually delinquent person allegations can also impact parole eligibility and conditions for release, often resulting in more stringent requirements and more extended periods of supervision.

Registration Requirements: Being labeled a sexually delinquent person may also affect the individual’s obligations under sex offender registration laws (SORA), potentially leading to more stringent reporting and public notification requirements.

Given the serious implications of this designation, qualified, experienced legal representation is crucial for anyone facing a charge that could result in being labeled as a sexually delinquent person. A defense attorney can provide guidance on the legal process, help challenge the designation, and work to mitigate the consequences of such a charge.

Your Best Defense Starts Here – Experienced, Successful Criminal Defense

In Michigan, defending against sexually delinquent person allegations involves several potential strategies, owing to the complexity and seriousness of the designation. A key defense often centers around challenging the notion that the accused exhibits a pattern of delinquent sexual behavior that is out of control or poses a significant risk to society. This typically involves a detailed examination of the individual’s behavioral history, seeking to demonstrate that the incidents in question do not constitute a persistent or compulsive pattern of sexual misconduct.

Another common defense strategy is to question the psychological evaluations or evidence presented by the prosecution. This can involve bringing in expert testimony to counter claims about the individual’s sexual behavior or mental state. The defense may argue that the psychological assessments are flawed, biased, or do not meet the legal criteria for deeming someone sexually delinquent.

Additionally, if the charge stems from specific criminal acts, defense attorneys may focus on defending those underlying charges. By casting doubt on the validity or credibility of the evidence related to the sexual offenses themselves, the defense can indirectly challenge the sexually delinquent person charge. This could involve questioning the reliability of witnesses, the legality of how evidence was obtained, or pointing out inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case.

Moreover, demonstrating rehabilitation or a commitment to treatment can also be a powerful defense. Showing mitigating information, such as proof that the accused is actively seeking help for any underlying issues and is unlikely to re-offend, can sway the prosecutor and judge’s decisions. This often requires a comprehensive plan for treatment, character references, and evidence of positive changes in behavior. Credible mitigating information can persuade the prosecutor to offer reduced charges or the judge to consider a lenient sentence.

It’s crucial to note that these defenses must be carefully tailored to the specifics of each case and often require the expertise of an attorney experienced in sex crime defense. Given the severe consequences of a sexually delinquent person designation, including potentially lifelong impacts, mounting a robust and well-considered defense is essential for anyone facing such charges in Michigan.

Avoid Jail - Call us Today

Sex Crimes and Sexual Delinquency Defense Attorney

The Court of Appeals in People v. Franklin reasoned that the two counts were the same offense, with aggravated indecent exposure merely requiring additional proof of the person’s conduct. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s conviction for aggravated indecent exposure; however, they vacated the lesser conviction of indecent exposure so that he was not charged for the same offense twice.

Where can someone go for help when faced with sexually delinquent person allegations? When someone comes to LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for help, our team assembles to assess the allegations, find options for fighting the case, and will do whatever is necessary to protect and defend our client. We treat our clients respectfully and without judgment. We are here to help.

If you are looking for an experienced Michigan criminal sexual conduct defense attorney, please contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation and confidential case evaluation. We will take the time necessary to discuss your situation, answer your questions, and work with you to develop a winning strategy.

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