Public Urination

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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If people are caught in the act of public urination by a police officer, it may be difficult to contradict the evidence of the sworn testimony of a public servant. But you can be sure that having an experienced criminal lawyer won’t hurt when you go to court. At the very least, a good criminal lawyer who has experience defending public urination charges can help you receive the lightest possible sentence for your public urination offenses.

Can you fight the charges?

The chances of people being found not guilty on a public urination charge are not good, especially if a police officer caught them in the act. In most cases, the facts are just too simple, and the police officer’s testimony about the arrests is too straightforward, for even an experienced criminal lawyer to attack on cross-examination. On the other hand, perhaps the police officer merely heard a certain noise and smelled a certain odor, then saw you walking away from where he thought the noise originated. A skilled cross-examination just might create a small but reasonable doubt about whether you were actually the person who caused that noise, provided you didn’t admit guilt or act hopelessly guilty when you were arrested.

Criminal cases also frequently raise questions of illegal searches, especially when no search warrant exists, or of confessions where a person hasn’t been read his or her Miranda rights. A criminal defense attorney can file what is called a motion to suppress evidence, whether that evidence is a confession or physical evidence, or both. The motion almost always has to be accompanied by a legal brief, which includes references to precedent – past cases with similar facts in which judges stated the law in their decisions.

You may end up getting a misdemeanor charge for public urination and/or disorderly conduct, as well as fines. That’s why having an attorney is a necessity for offenders.

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How can you get legal help?

Even in public urination cases that is a misdemeanor punishable by a conviction, having a lawyer tells the judge that you take the charge seriously, and if you back that up by showing up for court on time, dressed in neat clothing, speaking respectfully and generally showing remorse for what you did, you’re probably going to get the minimum sentence, not have to serve jail time, a small fine, and court costs. You could end up on the sex offender registry in certain circumstances, which is why it’s so important to have an attorney.

A judge usually has a fair amount of freedom in sentencing, and while no judge will admit it, many often take into account the fact that you will be paying your lawyer’s fees, and thus give you a lighter sentence.

If you are facing a charge for public urination and disorderly conduct, consult a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your options.

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