In Ohio, public urination or public defecation are loosely defined, in that if you are caught urinating or defecating in public you will most likely be charged with a disorderly conduct violation. As you have likely experienced, this type of offense can be stressful and rather embarrassing. It might feel like your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors are angry at you, mocking you, or otherwise unhappy with you. On top of that, you may face severe, life-changing consequences if you were close to a school, playground, or child care center at the time of the alleged offense.
The following are circumstances which may constitute public urination / defecation:
- On any sort of publicly owned property such as a sidewalk, street, park, alley or yard;
- On a wall, floor, doorway, hall, staircase, or any other kind of physical property that is not intended for use as a restroom in a building that is publicly owned or open to for public use;
- Any place on private property that is not intended for use a restroom.
If you are convicted of public urination / defecation, the resulting penalties that you will face are dependent on the facts and circumstances of your case. The minimum penalty you will face is a minor misdemeanor. This entails a $150 fine. The maximum penalty you will face is a third degree misdemeanor. This entails at least a $150 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
An experienced Cincinnati criminal defense attorney can help. You might be wondering why an attorney is important if public urination or defecation is charged as disorderly conduct, which is typically a minor misdemeanor in the State of Ohio. It seems minor, but a misdemeanor on your permanent criminal record could impact your employment and other opportunities throughout your life. It is possible to have your criminal record expunged at a later date, but only once the statutory waiting period (typically one year from the date of final discharge) has passed. This also comes with additional paperwork, stress, and dealing with the court again.