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10 FAQs: Urinating in Public Charge in Arizona

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According to Arizona law, public urination is frowned upon and considered a criminal offense.

Although most people might think of public urination as a minor issue or a mere inconvenience, the legal consequences can be quite severe, depending on the circumstances.

In the sections below, we will cover the following:

  • What is considered urinating in public in Arizona?
  • What are the consequences of being charged with urinating in public?
  • Can I be arrested for urinating in public?
  • Can I be put on the sex offender registry for urinating in public?
  • Can I have my urinating in public charge expunged from my record?
  • Can I be charged with urinating in public if I was in a private area?
  • Are there any specific areas where urinating in public is allowed in Arizona?
  • Can I be charged with indecent exposure along with urinating in public?
  • How can a defense attorney help me fight a urinating in public charge?
  • What are the possible defenses for urinating in public charge?

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of public urination laws in Arizona and discuss how the criminal defense lawyers at the Colburn Hintze Maletta law group can help you navigate these charges.

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10 FAQs: Urinating in Public Charges in Arizona

What is Considered Urinating in Public in Arizona?

In Arizona, urinating in public falls under the broader umbrella of “disorderly conduct,” as outlined in ARS 13-2904, and each municipality city code, such as the city of Scottsdale, Tempe, or Phoenix.

According to the statute, a person commits disorderly conduct if they knowingly engage in behavior that disturbs the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family, or person.

Urinating in a public place exposed to public view, whether intentionally or inadvertently, is considered a disturbance of the peace and can lead to criminal charges.

A public place is defined as any location open to the general public or where a person has a reasonable expectation of being observed by others.

Examples of public places include the following:

  • Parks
  • Streets
  • Sidewalks
  • Alleys
  • Private property that is accessible to the public, such as a parking lot.

What are the Penalties for Public Urination in Arizona?

The consequences of being charged with urinating in public can vary depending on the circumstances and any previous criminal history.

Generally, urinating in public cases are classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona under ARS § 13-2904.

This is the most serious type of misdemeanor, and it carries penalties that can include the following:

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • A maximum fine of $2,500
  • Probation for up to three years

In some cases, local ordinances may also apply to public urination charges.

These can carry additional penalties, such as community service or mandatory attendance at an educational program.

Can I Be Arrested for Urinating in Public According to Arizona Law?

Yes, you can be arrested for urinating in public in Arizona.

Under ARS 13-2904, a police officer has the discretion to arrest an individual who is found to be engaging in disorderly conduct, which includes public urination, as it can be dangerous to public health.

However, whether an arrest is made often depends on the circumstances and the officer’s judgment.

If you are arrested for urinating in public, remaining calm and cooperating with the officer is essential.

Provide your identification and any necessary information, but do not make any statements or admissions without consulting a criminal defense lawyer.

Can I Be Put on the Sex Offender Registry for Urinating in Public?

In most cases, urinating in public does not result in being placed on the sex offender registry.

However, suppose the act of public urination is accompanied by indecent exposure, which is defined under ARS 13-1402 as intentionally exposing one’s genitals or anus to another person with the intent to cause alarm or offense.

In that case, a person may be charged with a sex crime in Arizona.

If convicted of indecent exposure, the offender could be required to register as a sex offender in Arizona.

The specific consequences and requirements of sex offender registration vary depending on the circumstances and the classification of the sex offense.

It is crucial to understand that being placed on the sex offender registry can have long-lasting and life-altering consequences, such as limitations on where you can live, work, or attend school.

Can I Have My Disorderly Conduct Charge Expunged From My Record?

In Arizona, expungement is referred to as “setting aside” a conviction.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to set your public urination charge aside from your criminal record.

To qualify for setting aside a conviction, you must meet specific criteria, such as:

  • You have completed all the terms of your sentence, including probation, community service, and payment of fines.
  • You have not been convicted of another criminal offense since the public urination charge.
  • You can demonstrate that setting aside the conviction is in the interest of justice and will not threaten public safety.

A defense attorney from Colburn Hintze Maletta can help you determine if you qualify for setting aside your public urination charge and guide you through the process.

Can I Be Charged With Urinating in Public if I Was In a Private Area?

In some cases, you may still be charged with public urination even if you were in a private area.

If the area where you were urinating was visible or readily accessible from a public thoroughfare to the general public, you could potentially be charged with public urination.

For example, urinating in a private parking lot or a private yard that is easily visible from the street may still result in charges.

Are There Any Specific Areas Where Urinating in Public is Allowed in Arizona?

In general, urinating in public is not allowed in Arizona.

However, some exceptions, such as designated public restrooms or portable toilets provided at events or construction sites, may apply.

Using these designated facilities whenever possible is essential to avoid potential charges.

Can I Be Charged With Indecent Exposure Along With Urinating in Public Offense?

Yes, it is possible to be charged with indecent exposure in addition to a public urination charge.

Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1402, indecent exposure occurs when a person intentionally exposes their genitals or anus to another person intending to cause alarm or offense.

If the act of public urination involves the intentional exposure of your genitals or anus, you may be charged with both offenses.

The consequences of an indecent exposure charge can be more severe than a public urination charge, including the possibility of being required to register as a sex offender.

How can the CHM Law Group Help Me Fight a Urinating in Public Charge?

If you are facing a public urination charge, it is essential to enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer from Colburn Hintze Maletta.

Our team of skilled lawyers understands the nuances of Arizona’s disorderly conduct and public urination laws and can help you navigate the legal process.

Here’s how a defense lawyer can assist you:

  1. Evaluating your case: A defense attorney will thoroughly review your case, considering the circumstances surrounding the incident and the evidence against you. This evaluation will help them determine the best course of action to defend you against the charges.
  1. Building a strong defense: Depending on your case’s specifics, a defense attorney might argue that you were not in a public place, you did not knowingly engage in the act of public urination, or you had a medical condition that necessitated immediate relief. By exploring various defense strategies, your attorney can increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
  1. Negotiating plea deals: In some cases, your defense lawyer might be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor to reduce the charges or penalties. This could involve agreeing to a lesser charge, such as public nuisance, or pleading guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence.
  1. Representing you in court: If your case goes to trial, a defense attorney will represent you and ensure your rights are protected. They will present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make persuasive arguments on your behalf.
  1. Setting aside your criminal record: If you are convicted of a public urination charge, your lawyer can help you explore the possibility of setting aside the conviction from your criminal record. This can make it easier to find employment, housing, and educational opportunities in the future.


What are the Possible Defenses for a Public Urination Charge?

There are several possible defenses that a skilled attorney can employ to fight a public urination charge.

These defenses might include:

  1. Lack of intent: Your defense may argue that you did not knowingly or intentionally engage in the act of public urination. For example, if you were suffering from a medical condition that caused a sudden and uncontrollable need to urinate, this could be used as a defense.
  1. Private location: If you were urinating in a location that was not accessible to the general public, your attorney could argue that the act did not constitute public urination. This might involve demonstrating that you were on private property or in an area where you reasonably expected privacy.
  1. Insufficient evidence: If the evidence against you is weak or inconclusive, your legal team might argue that there is not enough proof to convict you of the charge. This could involve challenging the credibility of witnesses or pointing out inconsistencies in their testimonies.
  1. Necessity: In some cases, a law firm could argue that you had no other choice but to urinate in public due to an emergency or lack of available facilities. However, this defense may be more challenging to prove and is typically reserved for unique circumstances.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately

Public urination charges in Arizona can carry serious consequences, including jail time, fines, and a lasting impact on your criminal record.

If you or someone you know is facing a public urination charge, it is crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney from Colburn Hintze Maletta.

Don’t let a momentary lapse in judgment define your future – contact us today to discuss your options and protect your rights.

Call us immediately at (602) 825-2500 to discuss this during a free consultation.

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