Articles Posted in Indecent Exposure and Aggravated Indecent Exposure

It goes without saying that the best result when facing a criminal charge is to get out of it completely. Everyone hopes the whole thing can just go away. That can and does occur sometimes, but only when the lawyer uses an intelligent defense strategy. Before that can happen, however, the whole situation, and every piece of evidence within in, must be carefully examined. This all sounds great, but beyond that, what does it really mean? In this article, we’re going to explore that.

Fighting a criminal charge requires an intelligent planWe live in the Information Age. Police body-cam video is in widespread use as we begin 2023, and that’s growing. Soon, it will be largely universal, and that’s good. No matter what, there are 2 sides to every story. Even a routine and polite citizen-police interaction can be perceived differently by either party. Video evidence is neutral. To be sure, video is far from perfect, but it can certainly be beneficial in a criminal case. Sometimes, that can just mean providing a person with the clarity to know that the case against him or her is solid.

That shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. It would be impossible to count the number of times my team and I have heard one thing from a client, and then seen another on the video. In DUI cases, for example, people will often say things like the officer “said I swerved.” Sometimes, people disagree, genuinely believing that their driving was fine. Later, when watching the police dash-cam video, they’ll see that their driving wasn’t fine, and at least not feel so bad about the traffic stop. Of course, that’s not as good as finding a way to beat the criminal charge, but even merely erasing doubt is a good thing.

An indecent exposure charge is scary. Fortunately, things are never usually as bad as anyone facing such an offense probably fears. Thoughts of having to register as a sex offender and going to jail can keep a person up at night. The good news is that we can almost always avoid those things. In many cases, those consequences aren’t likely (or even possible) in the first place. In this article, we’re going to look at how you can de-stress and get relief from both indecent exposure and aggravated indecent exposure charges.

An indecent exposure charge is very stressfulTo keep things simple, we’ll refer to both offenses as “indecent exposure,” unless we need to differentiate one from the other. Our firm handles a lot of these cases. In fact, I doubt there is any firm that handles more indecent exposure charges than we do. My team and I are exceptionally good at them. I can say that without reservation that, of the hundreds and hundreds of clients we’ve represented for just indecent or aggravated indecent exposure charges, NOT ONE has ever gone to jail. We can boast a 100% success rate in that regard.

There is a lot of work required to properly defend an indecent exposure charge. Ultimately, though, if you’re facing one, you want to hand it off to someone who can take the burden off your shoulders and make it better. It takes years upon years, and a whole lot of experience, to really know how to best handle either an indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure case. A lawyer may have an incredible record of winning murder trials, but that doesn’t mean he or she knows enough about indecent exposure charges to get the best possible results.

In part 1 of this article about the arraignment, we identified 5 important functions. First, we saw that the arraignment is the first step in a criminal case. Second, the person is formally notified of the charges or charges against him or her, and the maximum legal penalty that can be imposed for each. Third, he or she will enter a plea (it should always be “not guilty”). Fourth, bond (bail), and bond conditions are set. Fifth, some courts allow the arraignment to be waived in certain misdemeanor cases, but that cannot happen in a felony case.

The arraignment before a JudgeHere, in part 2, we’ll dig a little deeper into the practical side of this. As just noted, the arraignment can be “waived” in some misdemeanor cases. This means a person won’t have to go to court for it. Waiving the arraignment requires that the lawyer file certain papers. As we also noted, the arraignment cannot be waived in felony cases. This also applies to any misdemeanor charge for which the court chooses to require attendance. A district court can simply elect to forbid the waiver of the arraignment in any or all misdemeanor cases, as it sees fit.

One of the scariest parts about having to show up for an arraignment occurs when the person is advised of the maximum possible penalty that can be imposed for his or her charge(s). Imagine, for example, that a person is caught with a small amount cocaine for personal use. He or she is brought to court and advised that the maximum penalty that can imposed for possession is up to 4 years in the state prison. That will cause many to have a “sinking feeling” in the pit of their stomachs.

In this 2-part article, we’re going to examine and explain the arraignment in Michigan criminal and DUI cases. In this first part, we’ll look more at the legal purpose of an arraignment. In the second part, we’ll dig a bit deeper into it’s function and process in the Metro-Detroit area. For my team and I, “Metro-Detroit” means the various courts located in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and the surrounding counties.That matters because, as we’ll see, the actual process can be quite different from one court to another.

The arraignment in a criminal caseThe arraignment has a long history. It has been around pretty much as long as criminal charges have been made against people in court. Black’s Law Dictionary, the most highly regarding source for legal definitions, concisely describes the arraignment as “the initial step in a criminal prosecution, whereby the defendant is brought before the court to hear the charges and to enter a plea.” While that’s historically true, it also leaves out a LOT of important and practical considerations.

To be sure, the primary purpose of an arraignment is to advise a person of the charge or charges being made against him or her. It also informs the person of the maximum legal penalty that can be imposed for each. However, in many misdemeanor cases, at least in Michigan, the arraignment can be “waived” so that one does not need to show up in court for it. More on that later. I point this out now, however, to make clear that criminal procedure has evolved a lot over the last several centuries.

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.

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