Public Urination Not a Crime in California

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Public Urination Not a Crime in California

Although public urination is disgusting, it’s not generally considered a crime. However, if you’ve been charged with public urination or any crime related to it you need to take it seriously.

People arrested for public urination also may be involved with other disruptive behavior that may involve alcohol resulting in attracting the attention of police. In California you can be arrested for under both state as well as local laws for public urination.

Public Urination Considered Disorderly Conduct

Public urination in California has a rather short legal history. A California court in 2006 ruled that public urination could be considered a public nuisance.

Laws Relating to Public Urination

While no state statutes specifically prohibit public urination, California Penal Code Section 640 states that urinating in a public transportation vehicle is prohibited unless it’s a “result of a disability, age, or a medical condition.” Under California Penal Code Section 647 public urination may be considered to be disorderly conduct. Under California Penal Code Sections 370 and 372 it may be considered creating a public nuisance. Under California Penal Code Section 314 people may also be charged with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor for “lewd” behavior.

Los Angeles County Code Section 11.16.050 classifies public urination as a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail, although jail time is unlikely.

Public Urination is a Wobbler

Public urination is considered a wobbler, which means the prosecutor has the option to file it as a misdemeanor or an infraction. If its filed as an infraction it only involves a trial by a judge. If its filed as a misdemeanor you have the option to have a jury trial. If you believe there’s a better chance of dismissal with a jury you can request to have this charged as a misdemeanor.

If you have been arrested and charged with public urination, you need the expert advise of a criminal defense attorney such as Sevens Legal, APC. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.

Sevens Legal, APC
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800

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