Prior criminal history can lead to more serious sentence

Of the many statutes concerning sex crimes, indecent exposure is a relatively low level charge. Someone who is arrested for indecent exposure essentially is accused of exposing one of their sexual organs in public. In most states, this charge is a misdemeanor. However, just like with many other crimes, if a person is arrested on multiple occasions for the same crime, the potential punishment can escalate. And if it happens enough, even someone accused of indecent exposure could face a penalty just as severe as some types of sexual assault charges.That is what one 63-year-old Highland Park man discovered recently, when he was sentenced to 1-2 years in prison on September 17 for aggravated indecent exposure. The judge overseeing the sentencing hearing apparently referenced this man's prior criminal history, expressing concern that he had been convicted of 25 misdemeanors and six felonies in his life. It also seems that the judge rejected this man's pleas to avoid prison because he is in poor health.Facing any type of crime is a strenuous ordeal to begin with, but if a defendant has a prior criminal history and the prosecutor intends to use that against him, there can be even more problems. However, if a case goes to trial, evidence of prior convictions can sometimes be withheld from the view of a jury, if those prior convictions are not similar to the case at hand.An investigation into an alleged sex crime is sure to be a thorough and well thought out process. It is important for anyone facing allegations of sexual assault or other sex crimes to immediately start putting together the correct information for a strong criminal defense. If this does not happen, the case of this 63-year-old man shows that even lower level charges can lead to a prison sentence.Source:, "Man with history of indecent exposure sentenced 1 to 2 years in prison for Ann Arbor incident," John Counts, Sept. 20, 2012
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