December 25

Does Public Urination Go on Your Record? – Criminal Defense Attorney

Public Urination



Does Public Urination Go on Your Record? – If the M is Circled on Your Promise to Appear then it is a Misdemeanor

Details how a person should approach a Public Urination Charge in Downtown Fullerton
Downtown Fullerton is known for public urination

Public Urination is a crime that borders between infraction and misdemeanor. Officers will often say to show up to court and pay the fine, however people are often surprised they are

Arrest Warrant in Orange County
Public Urination citations can be either an infraction or misdemeanor

dealing with a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor will stay on your criminal record. This criminal record is run every time you apply for a job. In addition to that there are many job applications which ask if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or any kind of crime. A conviction for a Public Urination in this since will cause trouble and hinder your ability to get a job.

Whether the public urination will result in a criminal record depends on how you deal with it and how it is charged. Public Urination in California can be charged two ways. It can be charged either as a misdemeanor (which will go on your record) or infraction (which is equivalent of a traffic ticket) which will not go on your record.

Misdeameanor conviction
Lots of employers will ask potential new hires about their criminal background.

 Public Urination as an infraction

If your case is charged as an infraction then this is good news. Cases that are charged as an infraction will not end up on your criminal record even if you plead guilty to it. You can think of a infraction as the equivalent of an traffic tickets. Traffic tickets only involve a fine and there are no potential for jail time thus there is not much of a need for professional help. However, the opposite is true if there has been a charge of a misdemeanor.

Public Urination as a Misdemeanor

Does Public Urination Go on Your Record?
Public Urination stays on your record if it is prosecuted as a Misdemeanor. It’s important to check your citation to see which was circled. An “M” would mean misdemeanor and an “I” would mean infraction.

The other way a Public Urination is charged is as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor will go on your criminal record. Your criminal record will follow you everywhere you go. This includes jobs you apply for and licenses you apply for. A misdemeanor conviction will happen when a person decides not to fight the charge and goes into court the first day and pleads guilty to the charge. There’s a high chance that it will be a terminal disposition. A terminal disposition on a case means that the case has been resolved and done with. It will no longer be in the court system. With no probation, this means there will no probation violations or any kind of court supervision or jail time hanging over your head.

Why Does Public Urination Go on Your Record?

I suspect that it is more political than anything else. You are not committing a crime of the century. Actually it is more of a crime of youthful indiscretion. Some people prefer to think of it as “when you gotta go you gotta go” However, police officers are under pressure to clean up the city and keep citizens happy. Nobody likes out of towners coming into town and pissing all over the place. So as a result they have started charging with Public Urination as misdemeanors which leads it to go on people’s records.


What are the problems with a Public Urination Case?

Many police officers will arrest a person or cite them for public urination when they think a person is relieving themselves. This is independent of whether or not you were really relieving yourself or not. Most of the time the police will get it right, however there are often times when a person will not be relieving themselves but get cited at the same time. This happens a lot when there are crowded areas and police are camping out in busy downtown areas. Police officers will know the usual spots, sit there and watch for suspicious people. Unfortunately what will happen is that people will go with friends and attempt to relieve themselves and not fully do it yet when this happens an officer will roll up and cite the person.

For example, the police officer is watching John and Joe as they leave the bar. John and Joe are out drinking and it is 2am and they have left the bar and there are no restrooms. Joe goes to the garage to relieve himself and John needs to relieve himself too but hesitates. After watching Joe relieve himself, John decides to follow but only goes to unzipping his pants when he is stopped. He has not started the process yet but intends to start. The officer will light up both John an joe and cite both of them. However, only Joe is the one responsible for the crime, John has only attempted to urinate in public.


When Does Public Urination Go on Your Record?

I am often asked the question of When Does Public Urination Go on Your Record? Some people think that it goes on your record at the moment you are given the ticket. This is not true. There are law in this nation and the state must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt or you admit guilt before they can put a misdemeanor on your record. There are several burdens of proof. The 3 main level of burden of proofs are 1) Preponderance of the evidence, 2) Clear and Convincing, and 3) Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

  • 1) Preponderance of the evidence: A reasonable person thinks it is more likely that you are relieving yourself.
  • 2) Clear and convincing evidence: A reasonable person is pretty sure that you are relieving yourself.
  • 3) Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: There is no doubt that you are relieving yourself.
    Orange County DUI - Burden of Proof
    The prosecution must show guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Often times in Civil cases a preponderance of the evidence is good enough for guilt.

What to do?

It really depends on your goal and type of person you are. To some people a criminal record does not matter. Lots of people already have criminal records in their background. If that’s the case then one more public

Public Urination
It’s important to have the right attorney for your case.

urination misdemeanor will not matter much. However, if you have a clean record then you may want to think twice about going in and taking a misdemeanor for your record. If your only goal is not to go to jail regardless then you won’t need the help of an attorney on your case. The chances are very high that you will be given a conviction and a terminal disposition on our case and you will go home with no jail time. If you are charged with a misdemeanor public urination and have a clean criminal record then it is important that you get professional help for your case. If you’re in Orange County and your case is in Fullerton then having an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney on your case who can get good results can mean the difference between having a criminal record or getting an infraction.

About the author 

Hieu Vu

“To the client, every angle is important, there’s a number of questions, and each person also have their own worries. Some will need a person to listen to them. At the end of the day, it’s more than just delivering legal results. I put a 110% into every person I work. I strive to make sure everyone knows what is going on and is kept in the loop as the case goes on. The practice of law is more than just getting the results in court.” -Hieu Vu

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