In some towns in New Jersey, charges of public urination are rare. In other towns with a lot of bars such as Seaside Heights, Belmar, Newark, etc., the charges may be very common. The penalties vary depending on the town and the circumstances of the offense. Having such a charge on your record could cause a problem for you, especially if you have a job that requires a spotless background. Thus, it may be wise to consult with an attorney before going to court.
Since each town writes their own charge, there may be some unique defenses depending on how the charge is written. One option is to argue that the charge is not legal either in the way it was passed by the town, by the way it was written or by the way it was applied. An attorney would have to carefully review the charge before it can be determined if these defenses would apply.
Many of these charges do not apply to private property that is either owned by the defendant or where the owner consents to the conduct. Of course, no one is going to consent to this conduct but an argument can be made that this an element of the charge that the State needs to prove. Thus, if they cannot produce the owner, there is no conviction.
You may want to also consider a plea to avoid more serious charges or to avoid having a public urination charge on your record. In State v. Laymon, 239 Neb. 80 (1991). the court found that evidence of public urination was also sufficient to sustain a conviction for indecent exposure. The State can bring these charges weeks or months after you are charged for public urination. Furthermore, you can work out a deal to plea to another charge to get the public urination charge off of your record.
As a result of all of the above, you may want to think twice before you handle your New Jersey Public urination charge by yourself.
Jef Henninger, Esq. is a New Jersey criminal defense attorney with nine offices in New Jersey. Consultations are always free. Visit http://www.seasideheightsattorney.com for more information.
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