Sometimes a person can’t find a bathroom or underestimates the line for a porta potty. Unfortunately, bad planning can lead to a criminal charge in Ann Arbor.
Is it really a crime to urinate in public in Ann Arbor on a Football Saturday?
Yes, the City of Ann Arbor has a law in its City Code that prohibits anyone from urinating or defecating on any public streets, sidewalks, side of buildings, or areas view-able to the public.
What is no one can see me and I’m on public property like the woods?
If you are on public property, it is still illegal.
What if I am on private property?
If you are on private property and someone can see you, then that is illegal under Ann Arbor’s City Code. If you are in your own backyard, but a neighbor’s windows overlooks your yard, then you can not go to the bathroom in your yard. The idea is that if someone can see you from off the property, even if they aren’t there at the time, then that is considered urinating in public.
What if no one can see you, even in theory?
If you are on private property, and it is impossible for anyone to see you off the property line, then you may have a defense. These areas are few and far between. Please don’t test this theory as its not worth having to go to court to defend.
What is the actual law in Ann Arbor on Urinating in Public?
Here is a link for Section 9:62, subsection 17 of the Ann Arbor City Code: https://library.municode.com/mi/ann_arbor/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TITIXPORE_CH108DICO_9_62ACPR
Here are the actual words of what is prohibited:
Urinate or defecate on any public street or sidewalk or on the floor of that part of any building open to the public or any other place in view of the public not specifically designated for that purpose.
What happens if I am charged with a misdemeanor for Urinating in Public in Ann Arbor, Michigan?
You face a misdemeanor charge and should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Often times these cases are reduced to civil infractions, but sometimes they are not. More importantly, they are usually public files so employers, schools, and the general public can look it up. There is a way to obtain a non-public file if you are under 24 years of age. If you are 24 or older than there is no way to obtain a non-public file in Michigan.
What is you live out of town?
I can represent you in court. Many times, you won’t even have to appear if you give me authority. If there is any reason why you need to appear, then you will be the first one.
What other crimes do people get charged with in Ann Arbor during Football Saturdays?
Most calls I get on Football Saturdays are for Open Intox also known as Open Intoxicants in public, noise violations, fake ID charges, and drunk driving. Here is a great article about Open Intox in Ann Arbor: http://hermanowskilaw.com/open-intox-ann-arbor/
If you are charged with UIP or any game day related charges in Ann Arbor, call me at (734) 887-6079 for a free consultation. I am regularly in the 15th District Court and its not unusual to see me there three to four times a week during the fall. I’ve worked or consulted on hundreds of game day related tickets and know the 15th District Court very well.
*If you are a University of Michigan student, then call Student Legal Services for no-cost representation. Here is their website: https://studentlegalservices.umich.edu/