Articles Posted in Indecent Exposure and Aggravated Indecent Exposure

Usually, the biggest concern for anyone facing a Michigan criminal charge is staying out of jail. My team and I see that in just about every case we handle. It doesn’t matter if a person is facing a charge for assault, disorderly person, DUI, embezzlement, indecent exposure, or anything else. Everyone’s first order of business is to avoid jail, and that’s understandable. However, there is another important and even farther reaching concern, and that’s what does (and doesn’t) wind up on a person’s record.

A criminal case can show up on your record and negatively impact youThe good news is that the fear of going to jail often misplaced. Avoiding it, at least in the kinds of cases our firm handles, is usually not too difficult. In many cases, it’s because my team and I do good work. In other cases, however, it’s because jail simply isn’t on the menu in the first place. What is at issue in every criminal case is the potential damage that can result from a conviction when it goes on a person’s criminal record. We live in the Information Age now, so that can have a profound effect on one’s future.

The upshot, of course, is that it’s critical for us to protect that record. The importance of this can sometimes get lost in all the panic over going to jail. Unless a person has a bad prior record, or has done something truly heinous, keeping him or her out of jail is easier than keeping his or her record clean. If a person is being considered for a job, and some kind of conviction that might make a difference to that employer shows up on a background check, the mere fact that he or she did  or didn’t go to jail isn’t going to matter. Let me explain….

As Michigan criminal lawyers, my team and I represent people in a wide range of cases. Even though we don’t handle things like rape or murder charges, our client’s cases are plenty serious to them. Sometimes, we are contacted by a person before he or she is charged with an offense. Often, this happens when the police reach out and want to speak with them. There isn’t a single competent lawyer in the country who would ever say “go ahead” and talk to the police. If there is one universal bit of legal advice that applies to every person with whom the police want to question, it’s this: Shut up.

<img src="police detective.jpg" alt="Don't talk to the police - remain silent. ">It’s been awhile since I’ve addressed this topic. A a number of recent calls to our office have made clear, however, that it’s time to do so again. The right to remain silent and not incriminate one’s self is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The police, for their part, try to work around that and get someone to talk. In large part, those efforts are legal. For as different as one case might be from another, and no matter what the situation, we keep coming back to the same proven advice: Shut up.

As a general rule, it’s never helpful to talk to the police without a lawyer. If there’s an exception, it’s if (and, really, only if) a person can prove he or she was somewhere else at the time of the incident in question. The police are trained how to ask questions. They know the techniques to suck someone in so that, even if they start out unwilling to talk, they eventually wind up providing answers. This isn’t a morally bad thing. Is there anyone who is unhappy that such interrogation tactics wind up catching serial killers and rapists and other really bad people?

As Michigan criminal, DUI and driver’s license restoration lawyers, every case we take begins with a consultation, and all of them start with a phone call. In a recent conversation I had with Ann, our senior assistant, I mentioned I had recently read that a lot of people facing a criminal or Michigan DUI charge feel intimidated to pick up the phone and call a lawyer. What Ann said in response was so simple, yet brilliant, that it became the inspiration for this article: “The worst part about not calling a lawyer is not calling.”

 <img src="nervous woman.jpg" alt="Call about a Michigan DUI charge. ">We’ll come back to that statement shortly, because as our talk progressed, it became clear that I was not seeing the full picture of what she meant. I had thought, at least up until that moment, that the main reason people would be afraid to call (or otherwise contact) an attorney was a fear of being “hounded.” I can relate to that, because it’s the very reason I don’t want to give out my contact information online. Plenty of sites offer something like a “free quote,” but the catch is that you must provide a phone number and/or email, first. Then, they never leave you alone….

It turns out there is more to people’s reluctance to call a lawyer than just that. I know that a lot of lawyers can be jerks, but we’re not. However, someone facing a Michigan DUI charge who finds us online doesn’t know that. He or she has no clue that we’re down-to-earth, friendly, and just genuinely nice people. What Ann made clear to me is that there is more than just the fear of being “chased” after providing contact details that makes a person hesitant to call. Unfortunately, it’s largely being put off by the smug attitude of some in the legal profession.

Indecent exposure charges are a main concentration of our practice. My team and I understand that there are countless reasons for how and why these charges come about. We see everything from people getting frisky in a place that wasn’t as private as they thought to men getting caught in “sting operations” at local parks and on trails. In this article, we’ll examine the court system’s big concern in these cases. Ultimately, anyone facing an indecent exposure charge just wants get out of it and protect their record. We’ll then look at how our firm can help do that.

xx-2-271x300Let’s begin by noting that the overwhelming majority of indecent exposure charges and aggravated indecent exposure charges are made against men. In those uncommon cases where a woman is charged, most involve having been caught getting a bit too frisky with someone, and in those cases, both parties find themselves being cited. More often, however, men are the ones who wind up being charged. Often, it’s for something like outright flashing or masturbating in their car. Sometimes, however, it’s for seeking the sexual company of other men in what turns out to have been some kind of undercover sting operation.

There are, of course, many other situations that can give rise to indecent exposure charges. However, those listed above are among the most common. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll use the term “indecent exposure” throughout this article to mean both regular indecent exposure and aggravated indecent exposure, unless a distinction between the 2 charges is necessary. Regular indecent exposure is just that – the exposure of one’s genitals. It is a misdemeanor offense. The charge turns into “aggravated indecent exposure” if someone fondles his (or her) genitalia.

If you are facing an indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure charge, you are no doubt experiencing a strong mix of emotions, including profound embarrassment and outright fear. Because my team and I handle so many of these matters, we know exactly how to get the best result in your indecent exposure case. We truly understand how freaked out a person can feel when going through one, and we genuinely believe that an important part of our job is to help ease our client’s anxiety, and especially his worries over consequences that aren’t going to happen – like jail.

<img src="exposing guy.jpg" alt="We can get the best results in your indecent exposure case. ">Over the course of more than 3 decades, NOT ONE of the hundreds and hundreds of indecent and aggravated indecent exposure clients we have represented has ever gone to jail. As we’ll see, though, keeping a client out of jail is relatively easy because it is not the biggest threat he faces in an IE case (note that, throughout this article, we’ll sometimes use the term “indecent exposure” to refer to either or both indecent and aggravated indecent exposure). Instead, the most significant risk a person faces is being required to enroll in and complete a long and difficult program of counseling for the treatment of sexual deviancies and criminal sexual offenders.

That can be a nightmare, because most IE offenders do not have any kind of deep-seated sexual deviancy, nor are they otherwise inclined to become sexual predators or repeat offenders. The court system will always (and, as we’ll also see, understandably) take a “better safe than sorry” approach, but there are few things worse than having to essentially go through treatment for a problem you don’t have, and especially one aimed at sex offenders. Avoiding that is key in an indecent exposure case, but doing so requires an intelligent and proactive defense strategy.

As Michigan DUI and driver’s license restoration lawyers, we use our experience and skill to actually make things better for our clients and produce the best possible outcome for them, whether we’re defending a criminal or DUI charge, or getting someone’s license back. As of this writing, I have published well over 1200 articles examining how things work in criminal, DUI and driver’s license restoration cases, and have explained as much about the legal process as I can. One thing I have not covered yet, however, is the very real element of luck, because it affects every case, and just about everything else we do in life, as well.

vectorstock_20630412-300x300Like so many of my other articles, this one was inspired by a real life case involving a client arrested for DUI in about the toughest jurisdiction here in the Greater-Detroit area. I often write about the importance of location in criminal and DUI cases, because it does directly impact how a case will play out, but the underlying truth is that what really makes one location easier or tougher than another are the prosecutors and Judges who work there. Certain courts are just “tougher” than others, but that tends to follow a kind of general continuum, with the more lenient courts being clustered around each other, and vice-versa.

Another key point I make is that DUI cases are always accidents of geography. Nobody plans to go out and get arrested for drunk driving, and therefore nobody plans their route with any notion of not driving through the toughest jurisdictions and, instead, staying within those that are known to be more “forgiving” in case they get pulled over. And if that’s not enough, add in that there are some multi-Judge courts where the differences between those Judges – meaning specifically how “tough” any one of them is compared to the other(s) – can be very pronounced.

In our role as Michigan criminal defense lawyers, we handle a lot of indecent exposure cases. I have written more about this topic than any other attorney local to the Greater-Detroit area, and hope these articles are helpful to anyone facing this kind of charge. While there are a lot of elements to these cases that can essentially be examined to death, the bottom line is that a person charged with either indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure needs a lawyer who can produce the best (as in most lenient) possible results. In this piece, we’ll examine the landscape of indecent exposure offenses and look at how to do that.

Skinny1flash-265x300There are 2 different kinds of “indecent exposure” charges: regular, or simple indecent exposure, and “aggravated indecent exposure.” Simple indecent exposure is a misdemeanor offense, while aggravated indecent exposure is treated as a felony offense. We’ll get into the specifics of each later, but it’s important to note that sometimes, the term “indecent exposure” is broadly used when speaking of either offense. Throughout this piece, and where relevant, I will make sure to distinguish each specific offense from the other, while at other times, especially when referring to both charges as a class of offense, I will simply use the term “IE.”

Also, however politically incorrect it may be, I’m going to proceed on the assumption that any reader dealing with an IE charge is male. Our firm has handled countless indecent and aggravated indecent exposure charges over the decades, and with only one – and therefore very notable exception – they have all been for men. That one odd case involved a young woman attending a music festival who had dressed in short-shorts that some ticket-happy police officer thought were just too short. As it turned out, I was able to quickly get that entire case dismissed outright.

As a law firm with a focus on indecent exposure (IE) cases, we have been retained by countless men who were highly embarrassed to be facing an indecent exposure charge, or who have been contacted by the police about an alleged incident, and are freaking out as a result. To keep this article “real,” we’ll dispense with any notion that IE cases are somehow divided between men and women, because the simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of people charged with either indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure are male.

vectorstock_847360-259x300Perhaps the biggest question anyone has about indecent exposure is “why?” If the reader is facing one of these charges, he has probably asked that same question of himself, and may have been asked the same thing by other people, as well. As it turns out, the answer has huge implications for the outcome of any given case. The problem, however, is that there often isn’t a clear answer, and that’s where it becomes critically important for us, as the defense lawyers, to make sure that the court does not substitute its worst-case fears or suspicions in place of that.

The main concern in any IE case is that the person’s conduct will “progress” and that he will engage in more aggressive and/or predatory sexually delinquent acts. Most of our clients are rather shocked to hear that they’ll be looked at in that way, but the fact is, most sexual predators start out small and work their way up to more serious behaviors. However clinically sound or not these concerns may be in any given case, what’s more important is the simple fact that they do exist in the court system, and any proper defense must take that into account and work around it.

In the previous article, I explained that right now, during the Coronavirus pandemic, the Michigan Secretary of State is conducting all driver’s license restoration hearings remotely. In this article, I want to examine the impact that going remote has had on the way Michigan criminal and DUI charges are being handled, both in the courts, and in our office. As of this writing (October 2020), we’re 7 months into the pandemic, and the legal world is adapting to handling cases in new ways.

Lady5Having had to do that by sheer necessity, there are likely to be some permanent changes (at least in our practice) to the way criminal and DUI cases are handled in the future, many of which are favorable. Right now, in the Metro-Detroit area (meaning Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and the surrounding counties), “going to court” in many jurisdictions means connecting to a legal proceeding virtually. So far, we haven’t had a single complaint from any client who had to appear on a video conference with the court instead of actually having to have physically show up in it.

I don’t expect there to be any complaints, either. It’s basic human nature to prefer to do things the easier way, especially when the outcome is at least as good as it would be otherwise. There’s an old saying that “necessity is the mother of invention,” and even though the idea of holding meetings virtually is not any kind of new invention, society’s attitude about them, and expectations for them, have certainly evolved in the past several months.

In part 1 of this article, we began looking at the 3 questions anyone should consider as he or she looks for a lawyer for a Michigan criminal, DUI or driver’s license restoration case. After we went over a few preliminary considerations like not getting the “hard sell” from some lawyer’s office, we began examining the first of 3 sub-questions from the larger inquiry, “why should I hire you?” and saw why it’s important to find a lawyer whose practice concentrates in the same field as a person’s case.

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Having covered those things, in the previous installment, we can turn to the second sub-question anyone looking for a lawyer should have about an attorney or law firm: How available do you make USEFULL information relevant to my kind of case, and specific concerns?

I’ve already mentioned this blog as a resource, and while I am proud of it (and think it’s the best out there by far!), there is lots of other information out there, as well. Find it, and see what other lawyers have written and then put up about your kind of case. Reading articles is about the easiest and most anonymous way to at least get some preliminary information about a situation, but a person must also make sure that the information provided is both accurate and reliable.

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