Indecent Exposure Charges in Michigan
Under Michigan law, Indecent Exposure offenses happen when a person reveals his or her private body parts to another person and that person does not wish to see them.
One example is “flashing,” where someone quickly exposes their private body parts to another person in attempt to provoke shock. Another example could be “skinny dipping,” where someone swims naked and doesn’t realize that someone else is watching.
Someone may also be charged with indecent exposure if they have been caught in sexual relations or if they have engaged in sexual acts including touching themselves. Revealing someone else’s private body parts against their wishes could also be considered indecent exposure.
Indecent exposure can refer to a variety of actions. What all of these actions will have in common is that a person’s naked body, or a part of it, has been exposed to or revealed to another person.
Michigan law has divided indecent exposure into two categories: “simple” and “aggravated.” The two are very different and therefore the punishments and convictions differ as well.
Simple Indecent Exposure
In Michigan, Simple Indecent Exposure occurs when a person is “knowingly making any open or indecent exposure of his or her person to another person.”
This means that revealing your genitals or another private body part to another person, or putting yourself in a situation where you know someone else could see these private body parts, is enough for you to be charged with indecent exposure.
Michigan classifies Simple Indecent Exposure as a misdemeanor crime. If charged with this, you could face up to one year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both.
Aggravated Indecent Exposure
Aggravated Indecent Exposure occurs when a person exposes their private body parts and fondles them in front of another person. Oftentimes, offenders mostly do this for sexual gratification. This could be fondling the genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, for females, the breasts.
Michigan classifies Aggravated Indecent Exposure as a felony crime. If charged with this, you could face up to two years in prison, up to a $2,000 fine, or both. On top of this, you will be required to register on Michigan’s public Sex Offender Registry.
A sexual delinquent is defined as, “any personal whose sexual behavior is characterized by repetitive or compulsive acts which indicate a disregard of consequences or the recognized rights of others.” A sexual delinquent could also refer to someone who forces another to comply with sexual acts, or someone who commits “sexual aggression against children under the age of 16.”
If a person is considered a sexual delinquent at the time that they are convicted of indecent exposure, they may have to serve a harsher sentence. This could mean up to life in prison.
Sex Offender Registry
Indecent exposure is a sex crime in Michigan. Being convicted of a sex crime will likely land you on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.
If you are already considered a sexual delinquent and then are convicted of any type of indecent exposure, then you will be required to register as a sex offender.
If you are charged with Aggravated Indecent Exposure, then you will have to register as a sex offender. A Simple Indecent Exposure offense could also land you on the Sex Offender Registry, but it will be up to the judge to decide this.
It will depend on your specific circumstance. For instance, if you were skinny dipping and didn’t know someone was watching, you might be less likely to have to register as a sex offender than someone who intentionally exposed themselves to another.
It will be up to the discretion of the judge as to how long you will have to stay on the Sex Offender Registry for such a misdemeanor conviction.
What Exposed Body Parts Are Against the Law?
Indecent Exposure, as defined by the Michigan Court of Appeals, is “the exhibition of those private parts of the person which instinctive modesty, human decency or natural self-respect requires shall be customarily kept covered in the presence of others.”
This definition is actually very vague because “indecent” is open to interpretation. For instance, wearing a bikini on a beach might be viewed as normal, but wearing a bikini into a restaurant could possibly, but not likely, be considered indecent exposure and could result in criminal charges.
Because indecent exposure can be such a subjective issue, it is vital that you get an experienced attorney to defend you. You are going to want an attorney who has successfully dealt with indecent exposure charges in the past and who is not afraid to work aggressively on your behalf.
Public and Private Places
A lot of people think that, for an act to be considered indecent exposure, it has to occur in a public setting. However, this is a false assumption. Indecent exposure can occur at a bus stop just as it could in someone’s living room. The law does not take into consideration the location of the indecent exposure.
Breastfeeding is Not Indecent Exposure
Breastfeeding moms are exempt from the indecent exposure laws. Even though people may find a mother feeding her child to be offensive, the mother is exempt while she is feeding or expressing milk for her child. A mother is exempt even if, while feeding, her areola or nipple is visible.
Indecent Exposure Criminal Defense Attorneys
Many people charged with indecent exposure brush it off as not being “that bad.” However, indecent exposure is a sex crime and it should be taken very seriously. Being charged with indecent exposure could results in a hefty fine, prison or jail time, and you might even have to register as a sex offender.
If you want to aggressively fight a sex crime allegation, you will need an attorney with decades of experience dealing with sex crimes charges in Michigan. Our attorneys here at The Kronzek Firm have the creativity, extensive knowledge, and aggressive team approach to be able to defend you.
We have decades of experience with these types of cases and we will work hard to protect you from Michigan’s fervent prosecutors and law enforcement who will likely try their best to put a sex crime conviction on your permanent criminal record.