Unfortunately, you might need to urinate when there is no bathroom around. What should you do? Is it legal to use the bathroom in public?

Public urination is illegal in every state in some way. However, the crime is charged under different statutes. 

Some states may have a specific statute that makes public urination a crime. Other states may charge the crime as disorderly conduct, lewdness, or indecent exposure. Depending on the charge, public urination could result in the requirement to register as a sex offender.

In addition, there could be city and county ordinances that make public urination illegal. In some cases, it could be illegal to urinate on private property if you are within view of other people who are on public property.

The bottom line is that urinating in public is a bad idea. You could face multiple criminal charges that could have long-term consequences.

What Is the Law on Public Urination in Kentucky?

There is no specific state law that makes public urination illegal. Instead, the prosecutor may charge you with indecent exposure. 

Indecent exposure occurs when a person displays their genitals in public. It can be intentionally or unintentionally. If you urinate in public, there is a good chance you may expose your genitals. 

What Are the Penalties for Public Urination in Kentucky Charged as Indecent Exposure?

Indecent exposure can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor

Indecent exposure in the first degree is codified in Kentucky Revised Statute §510.48. The statute makes it illegal to intentionally expose your genitals in public when you knew or should have known your conduct could alarm or offend someone under 18 years of age.

Indecent exposure in the first degree is charged as a misdemeanor for the first and second offenses. A third and subject offense is charged as a felony.

Indecent exposure in the second degree is codified in Kentucky Revised Statute §510.150. The statute makes it illegal to intentionally expose your genitals in public when you knew or should have known that your conduct could offend or alarm someone 18 years old or older. The offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

Indecent exposure is a sex crime. Therefore, a conviction means you must register as a second offender for the next 20 years. In some cases, you might be required to register for life.

In addition to registering as a sex offender, a public urination conviction under indecent exposure results in fines and jail time. The specific punishment depends on the charge. Examples of penalties include:

  • A Class A misdemeanor results in a maximum fine of $500 and up to 12 months in jail
  • A Class B misdemeanor results in a maximum fine of $250 and up to 90 days in jail
  • A Class D felony results in a maximum fine of $10,000 and one to five years in prison

If you are charged with public urination in Lexington, contact a Lexington criminal defense attorney immediately. One or more defenses could apply in your case that could result in the charges being dismissed.

Potential Defenses to Charges of Public Urination in Lexington, KY

The defenses available in your case depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the indecent exposure charge for public urination. Defenses that might be effective in your case could include:

Lack of Intent

You may have accidentally exposed yourself in public when you urinated. You were unaware that you were on public property or that anyone could see you. You intended to urinate quickly without anyone noticing.

Lack of Evidence

The prosecutor must prove the elements of indecent exposure to obtain a conviction. Therefore, they must produce evidence that you intentionally exposed yourself in public. If there is evidence that suggests you did not expose yourself in public, the court might dismiss the charges.

Mistaken Identity

Someone might report that they saw a person urinating in public, which fits your description. However, you have an alibi for the time of the crime because it was not you.

Unsure of Age

You may have intended to urinate in public, but you were unaware that anyone under 18 years old was present. In that case, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal reducing the charge.

If you are arrested for indecent exposure, do not talk to the police without an attorney. Anything you say could be used to support the prosecutor’s case against you.Instead, exercise your right to remain silent except when asking for a lawyer. Then, consult a Lexington criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC give us a call today at (859) 569-4014 or visit us at our Lexington law office.

Suhre & Associates, LLC – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507