Public urination is actually a common crime throughout the country. Drunken revelers may find themselves without easy access to a facility or in their current state may just make the irresponsible decision to relieve themselves in an inappropriate location. It happens every night in every city across the nation. Even more commonplace is the plight of the homeless. The homeless do not have significant or ready access to restrooms as public bathrooms are not commonplace in America, unlike many other countries. The homeless are left without a convenient or realistic means by which to relieve themselves, consequently often committing this offense.
If you have been ticketed for public urination or the corresponding crime of public lewdness, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney. Though public urination may not in and of itself be a serious offense, further tickets may be levied based upon the situation and the totality of the offense may bear significant consequences. The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. can help you to resolve your public urination offense and any other tickets/charges.
Philadelphia Public Urination
While the Commonwealth does not have a public urination charge, many towns and cities have enacted their own laws by which to govern their communities. In Philadelphia, the statute says that it is unlawful to urinate or defecate on a variety of listed public and private properties. Essentially, the law serves to limit urination or defecation to the appropriate facilities.
A public urination ticket carries a fine of $300. However, any person may pay $50 within eight days of being ticketed and the offense and any associated fines and penalties will be dropped. Of course, most people will not act within eight days and will be forced to contest this ticket.
In addition to the public urination ticket and any other tickets levied, it is possible that if convicted that one would have to register as a sex offender. This possibility exists because of the potential for being charged with indecent exposure or public lewdness as a result of the public urination ticket. This is a serious problem as registering as a sex offender will be revealed in the event of a background check.
Defending Public Urination
There are a number of ways by which your attorney may go about defending you. First of all, challenging the evidence is key. For example, typically a police officer will issue a ticket for this offense based upon finding an individual facing a wall, suspecting them of committing this crime. If the officer did not in fact witness the defendant relieving themselves, this is a pertinent fact which will go to potentially dismissing the charge. Additionally, simply smelling or seeing the results does not mean that the individual within the vicinity necessarily committed the act. Again, if the officer did not in fact witness the crime, this will strike a blow against the prosecution's case.
For the homeless, necessity may be a defense. As discussed above, the homeless often do not have access to public facilities. They may simply have no alternative but to soil themselves - which is not a reasonable alternative. Ergo: necessity. Necessity has long been a defense in certain situations in America. It will not serve to negate criminality, rather it will serve as a public policy exception by which the court can choose to not further prosecute. Additionally, the statute itself speaks to not targeting the homeless; clearly evidencing the legislature's intent in not being unreasonable in the application of this offense when dealing with the homeless.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
As with most crimes, if you do not address the charges appropriately, the situation may snowball. By taking affirmative action to defend yourself you may avoid more serious consequences. The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. can help you to resolve this matter as efficiently as possible, achieving the best possible results. Call today to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense associates.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.