A little too much punch at that off-campus holiday party may turn into an emergency bathroom situation on your walk back to Penn State. Or the restroom line at a bar might be far too long for the state of your bladder. But before you give in to the urge, consider the effect it could have on your future.
Aside from the danger Pennsylvania’s freezing winter temperatures present to your sensitive areas, there could also be legal consequences. The Borough of State College prohibits public urination, and you could receive a citation. However, public urination charges often go hand in hand with disorderly conduct charges and public nudity charges.
Public urination, like other summary offenses, somewhat depends on the circumstances of the act. Some of the biggest factors to consider are where you urinated and who witnessed it. If you get caught urinating in public, the officer will consider:
- If your actions angered, annoyed or upset others
- If the act happened on public property or private property without the owner’s consent
- If a minor saw the act
While public urination on its own carries a $750 fine and a few court hearings, the additional charges of disorderly conduct or public indecency have much steeper consequences. In the worst-case scenario, you may even have to register as a sex offender if the urination exposed a minor to a lewd act. That is a serious concern, as the registration will show on any future background check. Depending on your career goals, this could severely limit future job opportunities.
While the public urination citation may seem like a laughable event on its own, the risk of more serious charges usually means that it is better to wait until you can reach an appropriate restroom. If you have received a citation, make sure you consult with a lawyer to protect yourself, your reputation and your job prospects.