Urinating in public – a public nuisance offence?

If you have found yourself in the unfortunate position of being caught urinating in public and given a notice to appear in court, it is important that you check exactly what you have been charged with. Many people in this position are charged with a public nuisance offence which carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 or 6 months imprisonment. However there is a specific offence of urinating in a public place which only has a maximum penalty of $200.

Clearly it is better to be charged with the latter offence and this is the offence you should be charged with.


 
Although this is just a minor example, there are many other similar situations where a person has been charged with a more serious offence than necessary. For this reason, it is important that you seek legal advice when you have been charged with an offence to check that the police have at least charged you correctly. Often, it is possible for your lawyer to negotiate the charge with the police so that you face a lesser offence, which means that any potential penalty you will receive is reduced.

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