Charged With Public Urination?
Public urination is not just a nuisance – it is a public health issue. It happens very often, in both big cities and small towns. A usual scenario with public urination is when someone goes out on the town and visits a bar. The person leaves the bar sometime later, then realizes he or she needs to urinate. Rather than fight the throngs of people in the bar and those exiting, the person decides that the dark alley a few steps away would be much easier. And so, what often ensues is a police officer arriving upon the scene and issuing a summary offense citation. If you have received a citation for this charge, it would be smart to contact Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney. A summary offense is not as serious as a criminal offense (such as homicide, felony or misdemeanor), but it cannot be ignored unless you want further charges to be levied.
Defending Public Urination Charges
If you are caught urinating in public, you can receive a fine of $500. And it doesn't stop there. You can also be fined another $500 for not cleaning it up and placing it in a proper receptacle. It may require several appearances to court, especially if you are contesting the charge. You may not find it productive of your time, especially if you work full time or are a full time student. And if you are a person who does not like all the public attention this receives, this is another reason why you should hire an attorney to handle the situation for you. At the preliminary hearing, a criminal defense attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine the witness(s) and challenge the evidence. And often, the defense attorney can argue the case well enough at that time to have the case dismissed.
There can be many defenses and opportunities to get a public urination charge dismissed. First of all, the police are very aware of this activity and keep an eye out for it. But more often than not, it may be that the officer did not actually see the person urinate, but just saw a person facing a wall. He might note as evidence that he smelled or saw urine, but that may not be proof. Perhaps the individual was just turning his back to the public sidewalk while he fixed a broken zipper. And there are no DNA samples being offered as evidence.
Public Urination Charges and Registered Sex Offender?
There is another factor that must be considered, and that is the chance that the person accused of public urination might have to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law. This law was created after 7-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and murdered by a known sex offender. The law requires that sex offenders be registered and it also provides notification of these offenders in their communities. While you may think that it would be ridiculous to be charged as a sex offender because you decided to urinate in an alley, realize that it could happen, since it borders on public lewdness and indecent exposure. This is a situation you definitely do not want to happen to you.
The Frank Walker Law Firm is experienced in handling these types of cases. Our goal is to protect the rights of our clients and provide the best defense possible. If you have been charged with public urination, it might be a very easy situation to handle. And because of that, you don't want it to expand into something bigger because you weren't adequately represented. Contact a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney before you speak with law enforcement in order to preserve your rights.