Written by attorney Jonathan Andrew Paul

UIP Ann Arbor 15th District Court Urinating in Public Attorney - Washtenaw County Lawyer

Urinating in Public - Indecent Exposure

I talk to a lot of clients who are charged with an MIP or Open Intox in Ann Arbor, but also get charged with Urinating in Public (UIP). I also get a lot of clients who are only charged with Urinating in Public, which in Michigan is a misdemeanor offense.

The crime of Urinating in Public can be written up in many different ways. It may fall under state law with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office , as "indecent exposure" which is considered a sex crime under certain circumstances. It can also be charged as a disorderly person offense, which is quite vague, but includes the language of "a disorderly person is also one that is engaged in indecent or obscene conduct in a public place. See the two examples below.

Indecent Exposure: The State of Michigan has a statute against “indecent exposure”. MCL 750.335a states that a person shall not knowingly make any open or indecent exposure of his or her person or of the person of another. There is a 1 year / $1000 misdemeanor and a high court (treated in the nature of a felony) 2 year / $2000 misdemeanor. A sexually delinquent person can be punished for an indeterminate term, the minimum of which is 1 day and the maximum of which is life. Disorderly Persons: Michigan also has a statute punishing disorderly persons, which references indecent exposure. Under MCL 750.167, a disorderly person is a person who is intoxicated in a public place and who is either endangering directly the safety of another person or of property or is acting in a manner that causes a public disturbance. A disorderly person is also one that is engaged in indecent or obscene conduct in a public place. Either one of these could apply to someone who urinates in public.

The offense of urinating in public can also be written up under a local ordinance in the City of Ann Arbor. No matter which law you’re charged under, the judge will be Judge Easthope or Judge Hines.

It is more common to be written up for a UIP under the City of Ann Arbor law, and frankly much better than under State law. Although it’s better, it’s still a misdemeanor, and still has a very embarrassing name attached to it. This is not the type of crime you want to come up on a background check.

The offense of UIP is quite frequent in a college town setting as many college age kids are walking home from bars and peeing outside in public. It’s also common during tailgate season as people don’t want to wait to use a public bathroom with large crowds.

The offense of a UIP unlike an MIP cannot be taken under any "first offender" type of option, but I have been very successful in having these types of charges dismissed, because my client was willing to begin my proactive program and demonstrate they are a good natured person who simply did a dumb thing.

Self-imposed sanctions ahead of time can generally have this matter dismissed, but it is not as easy as you may think. My clients engage in proactive volunteer work, and if alcohol was involved (99 percent of the time), my client will engage in an alcohol education class.

The judge and prosecutor use their common sense, and understand the reason you committed this crime was because you were likely drunk and had to go to the bathroom; if you were sober this would not happen. This is exactly why we address the alcohol issue, as the use of alcohol lead to you breaking the law. By focusing on the root of the problem, we can forecast that going forward you likely won’t do this again, and we can likely get this charge dismissed.

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