People generally understand that a conviction for a sex crime can carry significant penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and mandatory sex-offender registration. What many people fail to understand, however, is that they can be found guilty of gross indecency, which is a sex crime, for engaging in behavior that they believe is lawful. Fortunately, there are often defenses people accused of gross indecency can assert to protect their interests. If you are charged with gross indecency, it is vital to retain an attorney committed to helping you seek a favorable outcome. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is an assertive Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney with substantial experience defending people charged with sex crimes, and if you engage his services, he will craft persuasive arguments on your behalf.Gross Indecency Under Michigan Law
Under Michigan law, there are various offenses that fall under the category of gross indecency. The specific crimes that fall under this category in Michigan include gross indecency between males, gross indecency between females, and gross indecency between males and females.
The Michigan Penal Code does not expressly define gross indecency. Generally, however, the courts have interpreted it to mean engaging in sexual behavior that is considered indecent or immoral. Specifically, it is typically considered a crime to engage in any type of sexual act, contact, or behavior that is deemed indecent, lewd, or lascivious.
Notably, people can be charged with gross indecency for acts committed in public or in private. In many instances, though, such charges arise out of public behavior. Examples of such acts include sexual intercourse, masturbation, fondling, groping, or exposing oneself in the presence of another person without their consent.
Gross indecency is considered a felony offense punishable by up to five years in imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500. If, at the time of the offense, the defendant was a sexually delinquent individual, though, they may face up to life in prison.Rights of People Accused of Gross Indecency
People accused of gross indecency have certain rights under the United States Constitution that act as safeguards in the criminal justice system. For example, they have the right to be considered innocent until they are proven guilty. This means that a person who is accused of a crime is presumed to be innocent unless and until the prosecution can prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This right arises out of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
Under this principle, the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant's guilt. This means that the prosecution must present evidence that shows, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed the charged offense, which is the highest burden of proof.
The prosecution's burden of proof includes the obligation to prove each element of the crime charged. If the prosecution fails to prove any one of the elements of an offense, it will fail to meet its burden of proof, and the defendant must be found not guilty.
Criminal defendants, on the other hand, do not have a burden of proof and are not required to demonstrate their innocence or otherwise offer evidence at trial. Thus, many criminal defendants choose not to testify at trial. Further, under the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, they cannot be compelled to do so or to make any statements that would implicate their guilt.Meet With a Seasoned Ann Arbor Lawyer
Being accused of gross indecency is a stressful and overwhelming experience, but with the right attorney, many people facing such accusations can obtain favorable outcomes. If you are charged with gross indecency, it is critical to hire a lawyer with the skills and resources needed to help you protect your rights. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a seasoned Ann Arbor criminal defense lawyer who can help you craft a strong defense and pursue the best possible outcome in your case. Our office is located in Ann Arbor, and we often defend parties in criminal matters throughout Michigan, including cities in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint, and East Lansing. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at (734) 883-9584 to set up a confidential and free conference.