Indecent/Aggravated Indecent Exposure - Oakland County

In more than 2 decades as a Lawyer, I’ve NEVER had an indecent Exposure Client go to Jail (or Prison). If you're my Client and facing an Indecent exposure or Aggravated Indecent Exposure charge in Oakland County, beyond making sure you don’t get incarcerated, I will direct my focus to avoiding the other consequences that could occur, like winding up with a sex offense on your Criminal Record or being shuffled into endless “Sex Offender” classes or counseling.

Michigan Law covers 2 types of Indecent Exposure Offenses:

  1. Plain “Indecent Exposure,” also called “simple” Indecent Exposure is a Misdemeanor offense that, by Law, carries a maximum possible Sentence of up to 93 days in Jail, plus a fine of no more than $500, as well as Court costs, and
  2. “Aggravated Indecent Exposure,” a Felony Offense that carries a maximum penalty of up to 2 years in the State Prison as well as a Fine of up to $2000.

The Difference between the 2 Offenses is simple: Aggravated Indecent Exposure involves fondling of the genitals, whereas simple Indecent Exposure does not. With very few exceptions, the charges of Indecent Exposure and Aggravated Indecent Exposure are made against men. Likewise, most men charged with Aggravated Indecent Exposure have stable occupations, and are a far cry from what one might envision when they think of his Offense.

Indecent Exposure and Aggravate Indecent Exposure are Offenses that just seem to “happen.” If a person winds up facing either of these charges, where it happens is as important as anything else. Oakland County, long known for being the “toughest” of the 3 Metropolitan Counties, is actually not nearly as bad a place to have an Indecent Exposure case as one might at first think. Certainly, the more northern Courts like Clarkston, Rochester, Troy and Bloomfield Hills are a bit more “progressive” than many of their counterparts in the southern part of the County, like Southfield, Oak Park, Madison Heights, Hazel Park, Ferndale, or Novi.

“Progressive,” in the case of an Oakland County Indecent Exposure case, does NOT mean Jail. Given that in DUI cases, for example, Oakland County throws Jail around like beads at Mardi Gras, this is a huge break. This does not mean, however, that a person is “out of the woods,” so to speak.

Progressive, at least as embodied by the more northern Oakland County Courts, means that the Court is going to be oriented more toward rehabilitation rather than punishment. Thus, while an Indecent Exposure charge in Oakland County does not automatically imply going to Jail, it does mean that I have to protect my Client from winding up in endless classes and counseling. Thus, beyond making sure I keep the charge off of my Client’s Record, I have to help my Client avoid getting saddled with all kinds of other things. While I count it as a success to keep my Client from getting locked up, no one is going to be celebrating if they are forced into some kind of “awareness” class and has to sit in a circle with their new friends at the end of every session 2 or 3 nights a week.

The Courts in the southern part of Oakland County tend to be more “pedestrian,” or down to earth, in their approach to Indecent Exposure cases. Rather than wanting to explore how and why a person “acted out” in this manner, the Judges in the southern part of the County tend to be more direct and straightforward, and, while giving a person a break, make clear that a repeat performance will be seen less as a symptom of an underlying problem and more as a disrespectful slap in the face to the Judge. To be clear, Oakland County is never going to be considered overly lenient, but with hard work and emphasis on the right factors, I can minimize the fallout from an Indecent Exposure charge as much as is legally and humanly possible. In the final analysis, I’d much rather be facing an Indecent Exposure charge in almost any Oakland County Court than I would a DUI.

Indecent Exposure and Aggravated Indecent Exposure charges certainly have an undeniable element of embarrassment. None of my Clients (at least none that I’m aware of) have ever been too anxious to broadcast their situation to strangers. To their credit, the Judges in Oakland County are inherently understanding in that regard, and never belittle or embarrass a person in open Court. In the long run, it is possible to get these same Judges to see the bigger picture, and to persuade them not to handicap a person with a lifelong Record for a momentary episode of bad judgment.

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