Urinating in public may seem like an innocent enough act.
Under Arizona law, urinating in public is more serious than one would imagine.
There are a number of laws surrounding urinating in public, which do not necessarily relate to the act alone. While you may not believe you have committed any other offence besides the act of urinating in public, it is important to understand how the law views the circumstances surrounding the act.
According to the law, exposing the genitals in public is an act of indecent exposure. The act itself may not have been intended to offend. However, if persons present have reasonable grounds to claim offense, your act of urinating in public may result in an indecent exposure charge.
This charge can have serious consequences, depending on the age of the person who witnessed exposure. If the witness is under the age of 15, you could end up facing a felony charge for indecent exposure. If the person who witnessed the exposure is over 15, the charge becomes a misdemeanor. In both instances, you will likely have to pay fines and could end up in jail.
Even if your genitals are not exposed in order to justify an indecent exposure charge, you could end up with a charge for creating a public nuisance. A public nuisance offense, much like indecent exposure, is circumstantial in nature. An officer may make the argument that by urinating in public you were disturbing the comfort of those who bore witness to the act.
By urinating in public, you may inadvertently damage the property of others. This can result in either criminal charges or a civil case being made against you. In some cities, property damage is considered an automatic consequence of urinating in public, under city ordinance laws. Such damage almost exclusively results in the owing of fines for restoration and damages.
City ordinance laws are also important when it comes to urinating in public. Many cities in Arizona consider public urination as a serious problem.
Downtown Scottsdale, for example, has ordinances which carry an automatic fine and criminal conviction for urinating in public.
Police officers in Scottsdale actively pursue charges for breach of city ordinance. Again, there are other potential offenses involved, depending on the circumstances of each individual case. The general public does not need to be aware of city ordinances in order to receive a charge. Police officers are tasked with ensuring that any breach of ordinance is dealt with in strict accordance with the law.
Consequences of Charges
We have listed just some of the criminal charges you may face as a result of urinating in public. The reality is, you will have to pay fines under most circumstances. Furthermore, there is a very real possibility of jail time depending on the charges made against you. The consequences of being charged with urinating in public are far reaching, and can affect you for the rest of your life. Imagine having an indecent exposure charge on your personal record. While you will know that the act was not intended as a sexual offense, prospective employers may not share your view.
Hire an Arizona Lawyer
If you are caught urinating in public, never assume that you are simply being given a warning. Building your defense against charges is a time sensitive issue. A lawyer may be able to get you off on all charges, or argue a plea bargain on your behalf at the very least. Your lawyer will need time to build a case, which is why we recommend acting immediately.
Matthew Lopez has a wealth of experience in Arizona law, which is why we are the perfect firm to fight your public urination and related charges. Our team will immediately gather evidence which we can use to dispute each charge. Many of the charges against you may rely on circumstantial evidence. Casting doubt on the reliability of that evidence will make all the difference in the eyes of the court.
Contact the offices of Matthew Lopez Law and provide more information on the charges you received for urinating in public. We will start building a defense right away. Matthew Lopez Law is here to help you clear your name by beating or reducing charges.