Indecent Exposure charges are very different from other Criminal charges on almost every level. Many Indecent Exposure charges are brought only after the Suspect has been contacted by the Police after a license plate number that was provided has been checked. In contrast to Drunk Driving or Drug Possession cases, which almost always begin with the Police observing or otherwise discovering the person doing the very thing with which they are charged (i.e., driving drunk, or possessing illegal drugs), many Indecent Exposure cases require a little preliminary Police investigation.
That said, a significant number of Indecent Exposure cases come about as the result of the Police stumbling upon a person in a compromising position, as well. There is a decent chance that if you’re reading this, you’ve just had some firsthand experience with one of these two scenarios.
I know how nervous and scared a person feels in this situation. I’ve handled more of these cases than I can count. In every one of them, that volatile emotional mix included a strong dose of embarrassment, as well. Thus, when I speak of a person needing some “protection,” I mean that, beyond someone to just look out for their Legal well-being, they need someone who can understand the emotional stress and fear they’re experiencing. That’s where I help.
I not only understand how a person facing either a simple Indecent Exposure charge, or the more serious Aggravated Indecent Exposure charge feels, but I know that, very often, there is some other source of stress in the person’s life that led to the incident. You’d be surprised at the kind and status of the people who wind up facing one of these charges. In fact, quite unlike what someone on the outside might at first imagine, many of the people who wind up facing some kind of Indecent Exposure charge are “above average” or of a distinctly “higher level.” I’ve represented every kind of person in this situation, from the proverbial “average guy” to men with advanced graduate degrees.
In almost every case, a person’s top two concerns are their Record, and staying out of Jail. One could sarcastically say that if you’re facing an Indecent Exposure conviction, you should have thought about that beforehand. Yet whatever incident brings on such considerations, and aside from whatever did or did not happen, protecting your Record is a huge priority.
Of course staying out of Jail is important, as well as avoiding a term of difficult Probation. Keeping you out of Jail is rather easy for me, and that sometimes comes as both a relief and a surprise to my Clients. In fact, I’ve never had a single Client of mine go to Jail in an Indecent Exposure case, and I’ve handled more of them than I can honestly count. The whole point of hiring a Lawyer like me is to make the outcome of the case, meaning what will actually happen to you, better.
If you’ve stumbled upon this article after having been contacted by the Police, but before having spoken with anyone, here is a bit of Legal advice for which people pay high profile Defense Lawyers huge Legal Fees; keep quiet. Have you ever, in your life, seen a high profile Defendant, in any case, being advised or instructed to talk to the Police? Never! Exercise your Constitutional right against self-incrimination, and to remain silent, and do just that; remain silent.
The Police are rather expert in talking people out of that, and, if you’ve already spoken with them, you know how that goes. That’s okay. Even if you’ve gone in and written out a statement, or just “fessed up” when talking to them, I can still help you, and protect your Record, and avoid much of the other fallout that typically goes with an Indecent Exposure charge. The Police, often represented in these cases by a Detective, know how to phrase things to make it seem like things will be worse if you don’t cooperate or admit what’s taken place, and make it seem like your going along will somehow result in things “going easier.”
Do you really think that if you cooperate, or admit to something, the Detective is just going to say “Okay, since you’ve stepped up and admitted it, now go home, let’s forget about this, and just don’t do it again”? This is even more obvious in a case where someone claims they saw something, and the Police find you in response to that complaint. Can you imagine them telling the person who reported the incident “Well, gee whiz, Ms. Smith, the fellow came in, and was really, really sorry, and was worried sick about losing his job, and having this on his Record, so we just warned him not to do it again, and sent him home. Don’t worry, though, we think that guy is so scared and so grateful for the break that he’ll never do anything like this again.”
Let be even clearer: If the Police contact you, and you haven’t yet already admitted to anything, don’t start now. To put it in the simplest terms, shut up!
In most cases, a person’s silence will not cause the whole investigation to collapse, but try this scenario on for size: Cindy Citizen calls the Police, saying a man drove past her while exposing himself. She describes the vehicle as dark blue sedan, or, if not blue, then black in color, and gives a partial license plate number. The Police run the plate, and amongst the possible matches is a navy blue sedan. They call Dan the Driver, and ask him if he was in that area at the time of the alleged incident, or ask where he was, or something like that. Just about ANYTHING Dan says is going to work against him, unless he can honestly say “Well, Detective, I was attending a conference for work out of state that week. Couldn’t have been me; I was on the other side of the country.” If he confirms he was in the area, well, you can see how that looks. If he cannot account for himself as being somewhere else, then, at a minimum, that keeps him under suspicion.
The larger point is that all this becomes a bit academic if a person just remains silent.
While it might be easier to talk about saying “I have nothing to say” than it is to actually say it, the easier way out is to let me be the heavy. If a person simply tells the Detective “I can’t talk this moment, but I’ll call you back shortly,” they can at least then let a Lawyer like me take over. I’ll call the Detective back and explain things to him or her, and do it in a diplomatic way. I always use this kind of analogy:
Imagine the Dave the Detective’s brother Bob calls from out of state, and that Bob says his son (Dave the Detective’s nephew) is being contacted by another Detective in that other state about something (in this case, an incident of Indecent Exposure) and wants the nephew to come in and talk about it. Bob asks his brother, Dave the Detective what he should do.
What do you think the Dave the Detective is going to tell his brother Bob? “Sure, Bob, have Johnny go in an just confess to everything, this way they’ll go easy on him”? Heck no! The Dave the Detective is going to advise his brother Bob to get a good Lawyer, for his son, and will also advise that his nephew keep his mouth shut.
The Police understand this. Of course, it makes everything easier for them if someone like Dan the Driver, in a frightened moment, just admitted to the exposure. The need to “investigate” any further evaporates with a confession.
Over the years, I’d estimate that close to half of my Indecent Exposure Clients have already made an admission, if not an outright confession, to the Police before they contact me. That’s okay, because, as I mentioned, I can still do a lot. It’s not that remaining silent means an investigation will collapse and the whole matter will just go away, it’s just that it doesn’t do a person any good to help get themselves convicted.
There is far more to Indecent Exposure than can even be summarized in any article, or series of articles. If you’re facing this charge, then you need a Lawyer who understands the intricacies and subtleties involved, not only with the charge itself, but also in the circumstance and events in a person’s life that preceded it. Most Indecent Exposure Defendants don’t just get a wild idea to do “something different.” In many cases, they are either reacting in a somewhat unexpected way to some kind of pressure in their life (family, finances, job, marriage, etc.) or just got caught trying for a little “alone time” that didn’t turn out to be as “alone” as they had hoped.
Whatever the circumstances, I bring decades of helpful experience to anyone who winds up on the wrong side of an Indecent Exposure charge. At the end of the day, success can only be measured by how much better things turn out. It’s not so much that “results matter” as it is that only good results matter.