Written by attorney Daniel P. Hilf

Indecent Exposure and Sexual Delinquency

Indecent exposure in Michigan is unlawful pursuant to MCL 750.335a which states that a person is prohibited from making an open or indecent exposure of himself or herself or of another person. For first time offenses, which do not involve fondling, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a jail sentence of not more than 1 year, or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. If the person was fondling his or her genitals, public area, buttocks, or, if the person is female, breasts while making an open or indecent exposure of himself or herself or of another person, the possible punishment is a high court misdemeanor conviction that carries up to 2 years in prison, or a fine of not more than $2,000, or both. This is also a Tier I offense pursuant to Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act. If the person is also convicted of being a sexually delinquent person at the time of the offense, the offense is a felony that carries an indeterminate prison sentence with a minimum sentence of 1 day and a maximum sentence of life. However, the Court also has the option of imposing a probationary sentence instead of prison if the Defendant is convicted of being a sexually delinquent person because of how the statute is written as of the date of this blog. This is also a Tier I listed offense pursuant to the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act. “Sexually delinquent person" is defined by MCL 750.10a as any person whose sexual behavior is characterized by any of the following: repetitive or compulsive acts which indicate a disregard of consequences or the recognized rights of others; the use of force upon another person in attempting sex relations of either a heterosexual or homosexual nature; or the commission of sexual aggressions against children under 16 years. Sexual delinquency can only be charged in conjunction with the charges of Gross Indecency (MCL 750.338; MCL 750.338a; MCL 750.338b), Crime Against Nature (MCL 750.158), or Indecent Exposure (MCL 750.335a). The Prosecution must provide proper advanced written notice to the Defense of its intention of pursuing an enhancement of sexual delinquency in order to go forward with that allegation. If the Defendant is acquitted of the underlying accusation of Gross Indecency, Crime Against Nature, or Indecent Exposure before the Court, the allegation of sexual delinquency must also be dismissed. Sexual delinquency is an enhancing charge brought by the Prosecution, similar to how some offenses (such as drunk driving, domestic violence, etc.) become felonies based upon the number of prior convictions. Unique to sexual delinquency charges is the possibility of having a separate jury determine sexual delinquency, if there is a conviction for either Gross Indecency, Crime Against Nature, or Indecent Exposure. The Court also has the discretion to allow extra peremptory challenges to each side during the jury selection process because of the prejudicial nature of this type of charge. The Defendant is also entitled to expert testimony for the defense if requested sufficiently in advance of trial. Hiring the right criminal defense lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your family. There are many lawyers who claim to do more than what they are able - just as there are many surgeons in the world that are no better than butchers. Do not settle for a legal hack job. Practicing law is a skill that develops over time with experience, commitment, dedication, and God given talent. There are no amateur attorneys at Hilf & Hilf, PLC– only professionals that are guided by the humanity in the individuals we serve, and the drive not to settle for what is easy over what is right

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