It can be humiliating and infuriating to have criminal charges brought against you for something as silly as public urination. However, Florida does have laws against urinating in public, and you could face real legal consequences if the prosecutor manages to convict you. Here is a basic rundown of the range of consequences you could face upon conviction.
What laws you are violating
The Florida state legislature has passed laws that set consequences for lewdness and indecent exposure. Under these laws, it is a misdemeanor to expose sexual organs in public, or within view of others. Public urination charges often allege a violation of this statute.
In addition, your individual city might have an ordinance that specifically prohibits public urination, even if no one witnesses you. These ordinances could give rise to charges for violation in addition to state laws.
What the consequences could be if you are convicted
Upon conviction for a first-degree misdemeanor, you could have to pay a fine, serve a term in prison, or both. The judge has discretion to determine your sentence based upon the specific circumstances surrounding your arrest. The maximum sentence you could face for a first-time offense is one year in prison.
If the police subsequently arrest you for the same offense in the future, you could face charges for a third-degree felony. In this case, the maximum prison sentence increases to five years.
As discouraging and stressful it is to prepare for a criminal trial, it’s important to keep in mind that criminal trials don’t always end in conviction. You can prepare a defense to the charges with your attorney, and you may be able to get the charges dropped or reduced.