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Indecent Exposure Laws in Michigan

Blank Law, PC Team

Indecent Exposure Laws in Michigan

Indecent exposure charges in Michigan are more common than many people realize. While there are all types of criminal offenses you can face, charges of open or indecent exposure are not only serious, but, for many, embarrassing.

If you are facing indecent exposure charges, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, and developing an attorney-client relationship early in the process is highly recommended. To avoid an indecent exposure conviction, it is necessary to utilize the services of a defense lawyer to help you build strong sexual assault defense strategies for your case.

Developing a strong legal defense for these charges takes time and effort. If you are not convinced that you need the help of a sex crimes lawyer, learn more about the regular and aggravated indecent exposure laws in Michigan and the potential consequences you will face if you are convicted.

Indecent exposure is considered a type of criminal sexual conduct. It involves the display of a person’s genital area. For example, when someone displays his or her genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or something else to others, they can face misdemeanor sex crimes punishable by imprisonment and other consequences. One penalty for indecent exposure is being included in the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.

Learn more about these crimes and when they may lead to you being classified as a sexually delinquent person here.

Indecent Exposure Laws in Michigan

face indecent exposure

Knowing Michigan’s indecent exposure laws can be beneficial if you face indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure charges.

Indecent Exposure

In Michigan, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor. If convicted of this crime, you can face up to 93 days in jail and fines of $500. This charge is commonly called “simple” indecent exposure and is characterized as being “caught with your pants down.”

Some of the actions that are considered indecent exposure include:

  • Someone flashing his or her genitals
  • Showing the private parts
  • Lewd conduct
  • Urinating in public
type of criminal sexual conduct

As a type of criminal sexual conduct, it is important to note that this is a serious crime. While this is true, indecent exposure rarely involves someone attempting sex relations in any way, which means some do not consider it as serious as other sex crimes.

Aggravated Indecent Exposure

You will be charged with felony indecent exposure charges if they are classified as “aggravated.” Being convicted of aggravated indecent exposure comes with a prison sentence of up to two years, fines of up to $2,000, and court costs.

This charge comes into play if you are caught fondling your private parts or similar lewd conduct. This type of willful exposure is something that is considered serious and, as a result, an aggravated indecent exposure charge comes with more serious consequences.

This charge comes into play

Usually, indecent exposure cases are not related to sexual gratification in any way. Instead, they are a byproduct of hidden stresses in a man’s life. It has been found that some people facing indecent exposure charges have become overwhelmed, and their situation has “gotten the better of them.”

When the pressure they are under comes to the surface (even if the cause of it is some type of sexual urge or frustration), they may act out in a manner they regret in the future.

Sometimes, cases of indecent exposure are simply showing one’s private parts. In other cases, the goal is to shock others with their actions.

In more recent indecent exposure cases

In more recent indecent exposure cases, the charges are “aggravated” due to allegations of fondling. In some situations, this is for the “shock” value, while in other situations, the authorities find someone masturbating in their vehicle or meeting someone in a park. Learn if car sex is a crime here.

Michigan Law on Urinating in Public

Many people wonder if a momentary lapse in judgment will result in charges of indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure. This is commonly a question that comes up when urinating in public or in disorderly conduct.

If this is what someone is caught doing, the authorities may consider it an indecent exposure offense. However, when it comes to criminal sexual conduct, some question if this is a true crime.

Urinating in Public

Unfortunately, in Michigan, if you are caught doing this, the community’s generally accepted standards are that it is a crime. However, the charges you face may depend on where the exposure happened.

Even if the extent of your indecent exposure only involves urinating in public and no type of sexual behavior, you may still be charged with simple indecent exposure, and such exposure may be charged as a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment. Along with the possibility of imprisonment, the charge may also come with significant fines and the requirement to be added to the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. You will also have a criminal record, which can impact your life in many ways.

While this is true, it is worth noting that the Michigan Penal Code has not listed public urination as a crime. In fact, this is usually a law that is written by townships, villages, or city ordinances. Even though this is the case, it does not mean that you won’t face consequences. It is still often considered that the exposure of your genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or other private areas in public is indecent exposure, even if sexual acts are not involved.

considered a serious crime

Since this is still considered a serious crime, it is recommended that you seek help from a criminal defense lawyer who has experience with criminal sexual conduct cases. With the help of a criminal sexual conduct attorney, you can develop an attorney-client relationship and they can work to build a criminal sexual conduct defense against simple indecent exposure charges or regular indecent exposure charges that will help you avoid the maximum penalty allowed by law. Learn how to beat a disorderly conduct charge here.

How to Fight Indecent Exposure Charges in Michigan

If you face an indecent exposure charge, you may feel embarrassed and unsure of what to do. You need a strong criminal defense to keep the charge off your criminal record.

To avoid spending time in county jail or prison, you need to know what defenses can be used if you are charged with indecent exposure. Our sex crime lawyers at Blank Law, PC are ready to answer all questions you have about the confidential or sensitive information involved in your case.

Nicole work side-by-side

Understanding the Potential Consequences of a Conviction for Indecent Exposure in Michigan

Upon conviction for indecent exposure, you may need to register as a sex offender. As a sex offender, your life can be impacted in many ways. Any time you expose yourself to someone else in Michigan, it can constitute an indecent exposure charge. Even just urinating in public because there is no restroom nearby can result in this charge.

Suppose you are in a situation where you face indecent exposure charges or aggravated indecent exposure while you are sexually delinquent. In that case, the best thing you can do is to contact a reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney. Your freedom is too important to put in the hands of someone who does not have a good track record with these cases. Remember, if you are classified as a sexual offender, your entire life will be changed.

Being Removed from the Sex Offender Registry After an Indecent Exposure Conviction

You can be taken off the sex offender registry after being convicted of indecent exposure if certain circumstances exist. For example, not all indecent exposure convictions require you to register as a sexual offender.

register as a sexual offender

Only cases of an aggravated indecent exposure conviction with these circumstances will result in you having to register as a sex offender:

  • The incident occurred in the presence of a minor
  • The incident was made when the individual was already considered a Tier 1 sex offender or Tier 2 sex offender, i.e. sexually delinquent person
  • The person was considered a sexually delinquent person in some way

Learn how to get off the sex offender registry in Michigan here.

sexually delinquent person

How Does Michigan Define a Sexually Delinquent Person?

In the state of a person, when someone is classified as a sexually delinquent individual, it is a serious charge. To reach this status, a person must engage in one of the following behaviors:

  • Repetitive or compulsive acts that indicate no regard for the consequences or the known legal rights of others
  • The use of force or coercion on other people when trying to engage in sex acts.
  • The commission of sexual aggression against someone who is under the age of 16 (age of consent in Michigan)

Keep in mind that during a criminal trial, the prosecuting attorney must prove that someone is a sexual delinquent beyond any reasonable doubt.

reasonable doubt

Understanding the Penalties for Indecent Exposure that Involves a Minor

If you are convicted of aggravated indecent exposure that involves a minor in some way, then you will be classified as a Tier 1 offender and must register as this for 15 years. You can petition the court to be taken off the registry after 10 years have passed after being convicted or released from county jail or prison.

county jail or prison

You must also meet additional requirements, like not facing another felony charge conviction or other listed offenses after the aggravated indecent exposure conviction. If you are unsure if you can have your name removed from the sex offender registry, you should contact our sex offender lawyers for more information.

Intention and Indecent Exposure Charges in Michigan

It may be possible to use the fact that you did not intend for anyone to see your indecent exposure as a defense. To be charged with indecent exposure, you must make some type of open exposure of your breasts, buttocks, or genitals in a location where someone would see it. This is necessary to be convicted.

someone changed their clothing

For example, if your exposure occurred in a window while someone changed their clothing, this is not indecent exposure in Michigan. In fact, the intent is a factor that is carefully considered when it comes to indecent exposure charges in the state.

Suppose you happened to expose yourself in a location where you expected at least some privacy and had no intention of someone else seeing that you were exposed. In that case, you can use this as a defense to accusations of indecent exposure.

Do Not Put Your Freedom at Risk

Being charged with a sex crime, like indecent exposure in Michigan, is serious. The state takes these charges seriously and, without a strong defense, you may spend significant time in jail.

Along with jail time, you will likely be given significant fines and other penalties, like being listed on the public sex offender registry. If this happens, it will impact where you can work, where you can live, and even your child custody arrangements.

Due to the seriousness of these charges, you can’t take chances. You need the help of an experienced and reputable sex crimes defense lawyer. It is wise to establish an attorney-client relationship as soon as possible for this charge. When facing either indecent exposure charges mentioned above, building a strong defense is paramount to the situation.

Along with the consequences listed above, some of the other issues you may face after a conviction for indecent exposure include the following:

● Being fired from your current job

● Being unable to get hired at another job or position

● Inability to earn money to take care of yourself or your family

● Impact on your personal relationships, including with your spouse

● Inability to live near a school

You may also be on probation for several years or face other longterm consequences.

At Blank Law, PC, we understand how scary facing criminal charges can be. If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Michigan, you need to contact female criminal defense attorney Nicole Blank Becker.

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You can message/contact our office by calling (248) 515-6583 any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online contact form sends information directly to our office, and we will receive your message contact and get in touch with you to schedule your Michigan criminal defense attorney free consultation.

There is no question that any type of criminal sexual conduct charge is serious. Sex crimes are punished harshly in Michigan, and you deserve a quality defense team of sexual assault lawyers on your side. We will get to work and help reduce or eliminate the charges against you while working to ensure you are not classified as a sexually delinquent person.

Our legal team is dedicated to helping those accused of a crime get the strong legal defense they need. If you need more information or are concerned about the outcome of your criminal case, contact us today. We have a history of successful cases and can provide you with the exact aggressive defense that you need.

Under Michigan Criminal Law

The first step is to reach out to schedule your free initial consultation. We are here to help if you have been charged with indecent exposure in Michigan.

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