Indecent Exposure Lawyers in Michigan
Indecent exposure is a serious offense that can result in a misdemeanor conviction and sex offender registration. Exposing yourself in public or in view of another person in Michigan is a crime. Even if you just had to relieve yourself because you could not find a restroom, then you could be charged with this life altering offense. Our sex crime attorneys are here to help you contest any charges that may be brought against you, and get the charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
If you are facing charges of indecent exposure, aggravated indecent exposure, or aggravated indecent exposure while being sexually delinquent, then the best thing you can do is retain a qualified and competent attorney. This is a very serious charge and should be taken very seriously. Your freedom is too important to trust to just any attorney. Grabel & Associates has been specializing in the practice of the criminal defense of sex crimes for more than 19 years. These charges are sensitive, because they necessarily involve people’s sensibilities and their moral attitudes about what is right and wrong. You need an attorney who understands how to be aggressive and assertive with your defense while being aware of the subtle nuances at play regarding people’s attitudes about sex crimes and the particular facts of your case. In this section we will review the law, potential penalties, and then discuss what we can do to help you or a loved one obtain the best outcome.
Can I Be Removed from the Michigan Sex Offender Registry if I Have an Indecent Exposure Conviction?
Yes, you can be removed from the Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry (SOR) for an indecent exposure conviction if certain circumstances exist. First off, not all indecent exposure convictions result in the offender having to register with Michigan’s SOR. Only aggravated indecent exposure convictions with one of the following circumstances can result in required sex offender registry:
- If the indecent exposure was made in view of a minor
- If the indecent exposure was made when the accused was already a Tier 1 or Tier 2 sex offender
- If the indecent exposure was made when the accused was also convicted of being a “sexually delinquent person.”
If an individual is convicted of aggravated indecent exposure involving a minor, then the individual will be deemed a Tier 1 offender on Michigan’s SOR and will be required to register for a period of 15 years. Tier 1 offenders are eligible to petition the court for removal from Michigan’s SOR after 10 years have passed since they were convicted or 10 years after release from confinement if the offender was sentenced to any jail or prison time. Also, an offender will have to meet other requirements such as not being convicted of any felony charges or listed offenses after their aggravated indecent exposure conviction which led to them being required to register in the first place. If you have any questions about your eligibility for removal from the sex offender registry after a conviction of aggravated indecent exposure, then give us a call at Grabel & Associates so we can help.
What if I Didn’t Intend for Anyone to See My Indecent Exposure in Michigan?
If you did not intend for anyone to see your indecent exposure in Michigan, it may be a defense. The crime of indecent exposure requires the actor to make an open exposure of their genitals, buttocks, or breasts in an area which could be viewed by another person. While it is not required that anyone actually sees the indecent exposure for purposes of conviction, an individual must intend to expose themselves in a place where another could reasonably view the exposure. If the exposure happened in a window while someone is changing their clothes for instance, then that would be not be considered indecent exposure under Michigan law. Intent is a huge factor and necessary element in the crime of indecent exposure. If you exposed yourself in a place where you expected some level of privacy and did not intend for anyone else to see your exposure, then that can be a legal defense to the accusation of indecent exposure under Michigan law.
Indecent Exposure Crime Statistics in Michigan
The most recent published statistics from the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) relating to crimes of indecent exposure show statistics from 2017. According to the MDOC, the overall number of indecent exposure cases across the state of Michigan was not large, but the consequences of these cases was generally pretty serious. 2017 Michigan state statistics for indecent exposure include:
- 83 cases across the state of Michigan of aggravated indecent exposure.
- Out of these cases, 19 offenders were sentenced to prison, 16 were sentenced to jail, and 34 were sentenced to a combination of jail and probation.
- Only 14 individuals out of the 83 cases were sentenced to just probation without any term of jail or prison.
- 17 cases of indecent exposure were committed by a sexually delinquent person.
- Out of these cases, 15 offenders were sentenced to prison and 1 was sentenced to a combination of jail and probation.
- Only 1 individual out of these 17 cases was sentenced to just probation without any term of jail or prison.
Indecent Exposure Laws
Michigan’s indecent exposure law is MCL 750.335a, and has two levels of seriousness. A person can be charged under MCL 750.335a for indecent exposure or under MCL 750.335b for aggravated indecent exposure. Indecent exposure or open exposure is the charge a prosecutor will use if a person openly exposes their genitals, buttocks, or breasts in a public. A person shall not knowingly make any open or indecent exposure of himself or herself to another person. A person could be in violation of this law by urinating in public, flashing another person, or changing clothes in an area where someone else could be reasonably expected to see your private parts. Any circumstance where a person could reasonably expect someone else to view their private areas, there is the possibility of being charged with indecent exposure. However, it is worth noting that a mother breastfeeding a child or expressing milk does not constitute indecent exposure in Michigan.
Interestingly, there is no requirement that another person actually witness the conduct of exposure. The courts have stated this means that it is only necessary to show that the exposure occurred in a public place and under circumstances where another person could have been expected to view it. However, the law has taken widening the parameters even further by removing the public place requirement. Michigan courts have ruled that exposure of the man’s genitals in his own home in front of a child constituted an indecent exposure offense, and consequently set a precedent that removed the public place requirement for indecent exposure.
The maximum penalty for a first-time offense of indecent exposure is one year in prison and a fine of $1000. A person convicted of indecent exposure will not necessarily be required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act for a first-time offense, but it is still a serious misdemeanor that has a negative social stigma as a sex crime. Consequently, you will want to work with a skilled and experienced attorney to avoid having a sex crime on your record.
Aggravated Indecent Exposure
A person may also be charged under the second part of the indecent statute under MCL 750.335b. This misdemeanor crime is called aggravated indecent exposure. This is substantially more serious than a straight forward indecent exposure, because it includes an allegation that a person was fondling themselves and their private parts in public. This charge could require a person to register as a sex offender if the person who witnessed the act was a minor.
Aggravated indecent exposure is a misdemeanor crime in Michigan, and the maximum penalty is two years in prison and a fine of $2,000 or more. Aggravated indecent exposure is a tier one listed offense under the Sex Offender Registration Act if the other person was a minor.
Aggravated Indecent Exposure While Being Sexually Delinquent
In Michigan, if you are charged with certain sex crimes such as indecent exposure, then you may also be charged with the additional crime of being “sexually delinquent” at the time of the violation. Being a sexually delinquent person is defined as any person whose sexual behavior is characterized by repetitive compulsive acts which indicate a disregard of consequences or the recognized rights of others. An example would be masturbating in public.
Sexual delinquency is very serious especially when it is being charged in addition to aggravated indecent exposure, because the main purpose of a sexual delinquency designation is to provide alternate sentencing guidelines for the court. If it is determined that a person has been sexually delinquent in addition to aggravated indecent exposure, then it can seriously increase the severity of the punishments.
Since the underlying charge is a misdemeanor, typically the charge would be brought in district court. However, if the prosecutor decides to include a charge of being sexually delinquent, then the case must be brought in circuit court. The penalty for being sexually delinquent is an indeterminate sentence between 1 day and life in prison.
Grabel & Associates Approach to Indecent Exposure
If you are being accused or charged with indecent exposure, aggravated indecent exposure, or indecent exposure while being sexually delinquent, then you should be focused on protecting your rights. These charges are sex crimes that could ruin your reputation, and put a black mark on your record. Unfortunately, the causes underlying the charges could be from something as innocent as needing to urinate without a bathroom nearby or be something as gravely serious as exposing yourself to a minor. You could face potential jail time and be required to register as a sexual offender.
Grabel & Associates has been specializing in sex crimes like indecent exposure, gross indecency, and criminal sexual conduct for more than 19 years. We will review all of the evidence, police reports, and testimony as part of our own independent investigation. We will do everything possible to bring the facts to light that place you in the strongest position for trial. Depending on what stage of the legal proceedings you are in, it may be possible to prevent charges from ever being filed if the allegations have yet to materialize into formal charges. However, if you have been charged with indecent exposure or a related crime, then we will do everything possible to win your case. We encourage you to review our testimonials and success stories to see our track record of success for yourself. We are here to provide you with an aggressive, individualized, and comprehensive legal defense strategy.
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer questions and begin the process of getting you on the right path to move forward toward success. Contact us online today for a free consultation or call 1-800-883-2138 now.