Aggravated Indecent Exposure
Michigan law prohibits people from engaging in certain behavior that is considered lewd. For example, people that expose and touch themselves in public can be charged with aggravated indecent exposure. Aggravated indecent exposure is a sex offense that can result in substantial penalties, including the requirement to register as a sex offender, and anyone accused of such crimes should not take the allegations lightly. If you are charged with exposing yourself in public, it is wise to meet with a lawyer to discuss what defenses you may be able to assert to protect your rights. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is an aggressive Ann Arbor criminal defense lawyer, and if he represents you, he will gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of obtaining a favorable outcome.Aggravated Indecent Exposure Under Michigan Law
In Michigan, it is illegal for a person to knowingly expose themselves or another person in an indecent or open manner. The Michigan penal code does not define what is considered an indecent or open exposure. However, it provides that people that fondle their pubic area, buttocks, genitals, or if they are female, their breasts, while making an open or indecent exposure, will be guilty of aggravated indecent exposure. The penal code explains, though, that mothers who are expressing breast milk or breastfeeding their children in public will not be charged with engaging in obscene or indecent conduct, despite whether their nipple or areola can be seen during or because of the breastfeeding or expression of breast milk.
While aggravated indecent exposure is a misdemeanor, it carries a significant penalty. Specifically, a guilty verdict can result in a sentence of up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both. Further, people convicted of aggravated indecent exposure will be required to register as sex offenders.Defenses to Indecent Exposure Charges
People charged with crimes in Michigan do not have to prove their innocence or offer any evidence in their favor. Instead, the burden of proof lies entirely with the prosecution. In other words, the prosecution has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each element of the charged offense in order to obtain a guilty verdict. While there is no exact definition for what beyond a reasonable doubt means, it is generally understood to mean that the evidence must so strongly indicate the defendant’s guilt that a reasonable person could come to no other judgment than that the defendant committed the offense in question.
With regard to aggravated indecent exposure, this means that the prosecution must show not only that the defendant exposed and fondled themselves in a place where another individual might observe them but also that their behavior was considered indecent or offensive, and they undertook such actions knowingly.
Although criminal defendants are not required to present a defense, in many instances, it is beneficial for them to do so. For example, they may assert that the prosecution failed to prove their case, and therefore, the judge or jury should find them not guilty. In some instances, they may be able to argue that they did not act with the intent required for a conviction or establish that the prosecution’s witnesses are unreliable.Speak with an Experienced Ann Arbor Attorney
A conviction for aggravated indecent exposure can irreparably damage a person’s reputation and rights. It is smart, therefore, for anyone charged with aggravated indecent exposure or any other sex offense to speak with an attorney regarding their options for protecting their interests. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is an experienced Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney, and if you are charged with a sex crime, he can help you seek the best outcome possible under the facts of your case. We have an office in Ann Arbor, and we frequently defend parties charged with criminal offenses throughout Michigan, including cities in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, East Lansing, and Flint. You can contact us via our online form or by calling us at (734) 883-9584 to set up a free and confidential conference.