Aggravated Indecent Exposure: Everything You Need to Know
If you’re facing indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure charges, you may be familiar with the social negative stigma associated with them.
Besides this fact, a conviction for indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure can result in severe penalties, including fines and prison time.
The good news is that getting arrested doesn’t always mean things will turn out badly, especially if you know how to get past this whole situation with little or no damage to you or your record.
If you are in this predicament, worry not, because we’ll go over everything you need to know about aggravated indecent exposure in this article.
Aggravated Indecent Exposure
Michigan open or indecent exposure crimes are classified into two categories:
- Simple Indecent Exposure
- Aggravated Indecent Exposure
1. Simple Indecent Exposure
Under MCL 750.335a (1), a person shall not knowingly make any indecent or open exposure of themselves to another person.
To qualify as indecent exposure, the person must have exposed his or her genitals, buttocks, pubic area, or breasts for females.
This is a misdemeanor charge and may result from many circumstances, including “flashing” or urinating in public. Another example will be if your arrest is in a secluded lake or pool while you are swimming naked, and another person stumbles upon you.
For charges to be pressed, there is no requirement that another person was present. That means you risk indecent exposure charges as long as the offense happened in a location that put another person at the risk of witnessing you.
This may sound unfair because, at times, the exposure may not have been intentional. That’s why it’s important to work with the best criminal defense attorneys when facing an indecent exposure charge, no matter the circumstances that led to the arrest.
2. Aggravated Indecent Exposure
Under MCL 750.335a (2b), a person will be charged with aggravated indecent exposure in Michigan if the act of exposure involves fondling of their genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or breasts for females.
In most cases, aggravated indecent exposure crimes are intentional and involve an element of sexual gratification or intention to intimidate another.
Aggravated indecent exposure is also a misdemeanor charge. However, the charges may sometimes fall into a felony classification.
Under some circumstances, Michigan aggravated indecency law may apply in a private setting. For example, a male who exposes his genitalia at his house in the presence of a minor can have indecent exposure charges brought against them.
Exemptions for Indecent Exposure
Under MCL 750.335a (3), a breastfeeding mother is exempt from the law, governing indecent exposure, if the exposure happens while breastfeeding their child. This is irrespective of whether her nipple or the areola is visible while she breastfeeds or expresses breast milk.
Penalties for Indecent and Aggravated Exposure in Michigan
Penalties for indecent exposure and aggravated indecent exposure in Michigan vary depending on the crime and whether the offender is a sexually delinquent person.
Simple indecent exposure is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of no more than one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
An aggravated indecent exposure charge, on the other hand, is also a misdemeanor, but carries harsher penalties.
Under MCL 750.335a (2b), an aggravated indecent exposure conviction attracts a prison sentence of not more than 3 years, up to a $2,000 fine, or both.
The penalties are even harsher if the convicted person was a sexually delinquent person when committing the indecent exposure offense. In most cases, the defendant will be guilty of a felony that carries an indeterminate term in prison, with the minimum being one day and the maximum being life in prison.
It’s important to note that Michigan law defines a sexually delinquent person as any individual who repeatedly commits sexual crimes in a way that totally exhibits disregard of the law or the rights of others.
Other Consequences: Registration as a Sex Crime Offender
Convictions with most sex crimes almost always result in the offender registering as a sex offender with the Michigan sex offender registry.
Aggravated indecent exposure convictions may require you to register as a sex offender if:
- The offense involved a minor
- The accused was a tier 1 or tier 2 sex offender during the commission of the crime
- The offender was a sexually delinquent person when committing the offense
If your aggravated indecent exposure conviction involves a minor, the offense is considered a tier 1 offense, requiring you to register for 15 years.
With the help of a skilled lawyer, a convicted tier 1 offender can petition the court to have their name erased from the sex offender registry 10 years after their conviction or from their time of release from prison.
However, even if you do not appear on the sex offender registry, you may not be off the hook. Your conviction will remain on your record and can significantly affect your future when trying to get a job or find apartments for rent.
This is because most employers and landlords will always do some digging up of your records. In other words, you may end up losing out on opportunities if they find out you have a criminal sexual conduct history, or any other sex crimes convictions on your record, that will warrant them rejecting your application.
Defending Indecent Exposure Charges
The consequences of indecent exposure and aggravated indecent exposure convictions are life-altering. That’s why you need to contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as you get arrested for these types of crimes.
Better still, avoid talking to the police until you have a reliable lawyer at your side. Talking to the police without a lawyer can get you in trouble or weaken your defense arguments, especially if they coerce you to do or say things that may incriminate you.
If you believe that you have been wrongfully charged with indecent exposure, a skilled lawyer can use several strategies as a defense, including:
1. Not Knowingly
For a person to be convicted of indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure, the prosecution must prove that the offense in question was intentional.
If the offense in question was not intentional, your lawyer might use “not knowingly” or “not intentionally” to have your charges dropped or reduced to lesser charges.
For example, a person could face aggravated indecent exposure charges if caught peeing at a secluded corner while holding his penis. In such a case, the intentions are very different from a person who intentionally exposes and fondles their genitals, for sexual gratification, in the presence of other people.
2. Psychological Problems
Sometimes, psychological factors can play a role in influencing behavior.
If, for some reason, you may have committed an indecent exposure offense due to psychological problems, your knowledgeable lawyer can use psychological problems as a defense for your charges.
With that said, this defense may only apply if you have medical records to back your psychological problems claim. Cooperating with your doctor can portray you as dedicated to getting help for your problems, impacting the judge’s decision.
While drunkenness may be used as a defense strategy for aggravated indecent exposure, it cannot completely get you off the hook. That being said, it can help have your charges reduced to less severe ones, such as public intoxication.
To successfully use drunkenness as a defense, it would help to cooperate with the court if it orders that you seek counseling or rehabilitation for your alcohol or drug problem.
Following court directives can indicate your willingness to change and can help influence a judge’s decision.
Let a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Help You with Your Case
An aggravated indecent exposure charge can damage a person’s reputation, but a conviction is even worse.
It’s, therefore, extremely important to work with an experienced sex crimes attorney.
Nicole Blank Becker, of Blank Law, PC is a skilled sex crime lawyer based in Michigan with over two decades of experience in Michigan criminal law.
Besides her practice as a defense lawyer, Nicole has worked as a prosecutor in Wayne and Macomb County, and was the Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, which means she will look at your case from both sides of the law, giving you the most favorable outcome possible.
Nicole also prides herself on keeping a great attorney-client relationship, and all confidential or sensitive information that you reveal to her remains 100% confidential.
Don’t let an aggravated indecent exposure charge ruin your future and freedom. Talk to Nicole and have her handle your case.
Nicole is solely focused on sex crimes. She has handled similar charges in her practice and has a track record of success to prove it.
To get Nicole Blank Becker on your side, contact Blank Law, PC at 248-515-6583 or reach us online to schedule a free initial consultation.