The Penalty for Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure charges in Michigan are more common than many people realize. While there are all types of criminal offenses you can face, charges of open or indecent exposure are not only serious but, for many, embarrassing.

If you are facing indecent exposure charges, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, and developing an attorney-client relationship early in the process is highly recommended. To avoid an indecent exposure conviction, it is necessary to utilize the services of a sex crimes lawyer to help you build a strong argument for your case.


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Developing a strong legal defense for these charges takes time and effort. If you aren’t convinced that you need the help of an attorney, learn more about the potential indecent exposure penalties you will face if you are convicted.

Understanding Indecent Exposure Laws in Michigan

Knowing Michigan’s indecent exposure laws can be beneficial if you face indecent exposure or aggravated indecent exposure charges.

Indecent Exposure

In Michigan, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor. If convicted of this crime, you can face up to 93 days in jail and fines of $500. This charge is commonly called “simple” indecent exposure and is characterized as being “caught with your pants down.”


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Some of the actions that are considered indecent exposure include:

  • Someone flashing his or her genitals
  • Showing the private parts
  • Lewd conduct
  • Urinating in public

Aggravated Indecent Exposure

You will be charged with felony indecent exposure charges if they are classified as “aggravated.” Being convicted of aggravated indecent exposure comes with a prison sentence of up to two years, fines of up to $2,000, and court costs.

This charge comes into play if caught fondling your private parts or similar lewd conduct. This type of willful exposure is considered serious, and as a result, an aggravated indecent exposure charge comes with more serious consequences.

Usually, indecent exposure cases aren’t related to sexual gratification in any way. Instead, they are a byproduct of hidden stresses in a man’s life. It has been found that some people facing indecent exposure charges have become overwhelmed, and their situation has “gotten the better of them.”


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When the pressure they are under comes to the surface (even if the cause of it is some sexual urge or frustration), they may act out in a manner they regret in the future.

Sometimes, cases of indecent exposure are simply showing one’s private parts. In other cases, the goal is to “shock” others with their actions.

In more recent indecent exposure cases, the charges are “aggravated” due to allegations of fondling. In some situations, this is for the “shock” value, while in other situations, the authorities find someone masturbating in their vehicle or meeting someone in a park.

How to Fight Indecent Exposure Charges in Michigan

If you face an indecent exposure charge, you may feel embarrassed and unsure what to do. You need a strong criminal defense to keep the charge off your criminal record.

To avoid spending time in county jail or prison, you need to know what defenses can be used if you are charged with indecent exposure. Our criminal defense attorney is ready to answer all questions you have about the confidential or sensitive information involved in your case.

Understanding the Potential Consequences of a Conviction for Indecent Exposure in Michigan

Upon conviction for indecent exposure, you may be put on the sex offender registration. As a sex offender, your life can be impacted in many ways. Any time you expose yourself to someone else, it can constitute an indecent exposure charge. Even just urinating in public because there is no restroom nearby can result in this charge.

Suppose you are in a situation where you face indecent exposure charges or aggravated indecent exposure while you are sexually delinquent. In that case, the best thing you can do is to contact a reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney. Your freedom is too important to put in the hands of someone who doesn’t have a good track record with these cases. Remember, if you are classified as a sexual offender, your entire life will be changed.

Being Removed from the Sex Offender Registry after an Indecent Exposure Conviction

You can be taken off the sex offender register after being convicted of indecent exposure if certain circumstances exist. For example, not all indecent exposure convictions require you to register as a sexual offender.

Only cases of an aggravated indecent exposure conviction with these circumstances will result in you having to register as a sex offender:

  • The incident occurred in the presence of a minor
  • The incident was made when the individual was already considered a Tier 1 or 2 sexually delinquent person
  • The person was considered a sexually delinquent person in some way

How Does Michigan Define a Sexually Delinquent Person?

In the state of a person, when someone is classified as a sexually delinquent individual, it is a serious charge. To reach this status, a person must engage in one of the following behaviors:

  • Repetitive or compulsive acts that indicate no regard for the consequences or the known rights of others.
  • The use of force on other people when trying to engage in sex acts.
  • The commission of sexual aggression against someone under the age of 16.

During a criminal trial, the prosecuting attorney must prove that someone is a sexual delinquent beyond any reasonable doubt.

Understanding the Penalties for Indecent Exposure That Involves a Minor

If you are convicted of aggravated indecent exposure that involves a minor in some way, then you will be classified as a Tier 1 offender and must register as this for 15 years. You can petition the court to be taken off the register after ten years have passed after being convicted or released from county jail or prison.

You must also meet additional requirements, like not facing another felony charge conviction or other listed offenses after the aggravated indecent exposure conviction. If you are unsure if you can have your name removed from the sex offender registry, you should contact our legal team for more information.

Intention and Indecent Exposure Charges in Michigan

It may be possible to use the fact that you did not intend for anyone to see your indecent exposure as a defense. To be charged with indecent exposure, you must make some type of open exposure of your breasts, buttocks, or genitals in a location where someone would see it. This is necessary to be convicted.

For example, if your exposure occurred in a window while someone changed their clothing, this is not indecent exposure in Michigan. In fact, intent is a factor that is carefully considered when it comes to indecent exposure charges in the state.

Suppose you happened to expose yourself in a location where you expected at least some privacy and had no intention of someone else seeing that you were exposed. In that case, you can use this as a defense to accusations of indecent exposure.

Don’t Put Your Freedom at Risk

Being charged with a sex crime, like indecent exposure in Michigan, is serious. The state takes these charges seriously, and without a strong defense, you may spend significant time in jail.

Along with jail time, you will likely be given significant fines and other penalties like being listed on the sex offender registry, which is public. If this happens, it will impact where you can work, live, and even your child custody arrangements.

Because of the seriousness of these charges, you can’t take chances. You need the help of an experienced and reputable criminal defense attorney.

Along with the consequences listed above, some of the other issues you may face after a conviction for indecent exposure include the following:

  • Being fired from your current job
  • Being unable to get hired at another job or position
  • Inability to earn money to take care of yourself or your family
  • Impact on your personal relationships, including with your spouse
  • Inability to live near a school

You may also be on probation for several years or face other long-term consequences.

Contact Our Legal Team to Schedule a Free Consultation

At Blank Law, PC, we understand how scary facing criminal charges can be. If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Michigan, contact criminal defense attorney Nicole Blank Becker.

You can contact our office at (248) 515-6583 any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online contact form sends information directly to our office, and we will receive your message contact and get in touch with you to schedule your consultation.

Our team is dedicated to helping those accused of a crime get the strong legal defense they need. If you need more information or are concerned about the outcome of your criminal case, contact us today. We have a history of successful cases and can provide you with the same aggressive defense you need.

The first step is to reach out to schedule your free initial consultation. We are here to help if you have been charged with indecent exposure in Michigan.

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