Monday, August 3, 2015

Does a Public Urination conviction require registration as a sex offender? And, if so, which states require registration?

August 2015 National:

In answer to the title question: Yes, No and Maybe. It depends on the state and the way it has constructed their laws.

After this research it is easy to see Lawmakers have many different ideas and they enact them in ways that makes one wonder about their sanity. Logic and consistency does not rule, and Prosecutors actually decide what the charge will be.

Prosecutors can be fair and keep one off the registry or they can be vindictive and charge so that the only outcome is the registry. This is where a lawyer can navigate and possibly work a deal (plea bargain) to keep a client off the registry; key point, get or at least consult with a lawyer.

We started this project with the 2007 Human Rights Watch Report: "No Easy Answers" and blended it with the 2014 Slate article "The Ridiculous Laws That Put People on the Sex Offender List" then added anything we learned along the way, later changes and enactments, new to the two earlier reports.

Our chart below is where we ended up, and wherever possible provided direct links to our sources, so folks can double check to see if laws change as they often do. Now if we found a lawyer explaining how their state laws work with "Public Urination" we opted for a link to that lawyer's explanation. We do not necessarily endorse them and there may be other lawyers in that state, readers need to make their own decisions about which is best for their case.

A few important points, while we focused on "Public Urination" convictions, some states do not have any specific statute for such, instead they construe that "act" into an "Indecent Exposure and Lewdness" statute. Now to make it even more confusing urinating isn't even mentioned in some but news reports show folks being convicted under Indecent Exposure or a Lewdness statute. Isn't law just fun.

Now if you look at Massachusetts there is a fellow who moved to Florida, and Florida has him on the registry showing an out of state conviction. This brings up a point, if one has a urination conviction in State-A and they do not require sex offender registration, that person must be mighty careful on moving to another state, the new state may very well put him on their registry should that be required of folks so convicted in their state. Be wise if moving, consult with a lawyer first.

Speculating now, along the way we noticed comments mentioning local ordinances that may prohibit public urination and a conviction may somehow be included in a state statute, we have not checked for that, so a lawyer is best to find out if one has an ordinance violation.
Update note: We wonder how many other states have trickery code embedded in laws like those we found that might cause one so convicted to end up on the registry. Well thats for another day.
You'll notice our chart ends with an article by Steven Yoder, "Life on the list" clearly worth reading.

Finally, we don't mind if our chart is copied, but please credit us as shown below, its the right thing to do. And our ears are open to corrections or suggestions to make this chart more informative for those who need it.

Sex Offender Research, All Rights Reserved! © 2015

Public Urination:
Crimes which COULD lead to sex offender registry requirements.
Human Rights Watch Report: No Easy AnswersAt least 13 states require registration for public urination; of those, two limit registration to those who committed the act in view of a minor;109 (page-39)

109 Arizona, Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-3821 (if the individual has more than one previous conviction for public urination—two if exposed to a person under 15; three if exposed to a person over 15); California, Cal. Penal Code §314(1)-(2), 290; Connecticut, Conn. Gen. Stat. §53a-186, §54-250, §54-251 (if the victim was under 18); Georgia, O.C.G.A. §42-1-12, 16-6-8 (if done in view of a minor); Idaho, Idaho Code Ann. §18-4116, 8306, 8304; Kentucky, Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §510.148, §17.520, 500, §510.150; Massachusetts, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272 §16, ALM GL ch. 6 §178G, 178C; Michigan, Mich. Comp. Laws §167(1)(f), §28.722, 723; New Hampshire, N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §651-B:1, RSA 651-B:2, 645:1(II), (III); Oklahoma, 57 Okl.St. §582.21, §1021; South Carolina, S.C. Code Ann. §23-3-430; Utah, Utah Code Ann. §77-27-21.5, §76-9-702.5; Vermont, Vt. Stat. Ann. Tit. 13, §2601, §5407, 5401.
Slate ArticleThe Ridiculous Laws That Put People on the Sex Offender List and their maps
General Explanation
by NOLO:
This explanation of "Public Urination Laws and Penalties" by NOLO (found on the Criminal Defense Lawyers website) is excellent and mentions a few laws of certain states. Also shows how some states use "urination laws" and others use "Indecent Exposure" laws, and only one requires sex offender registration. Weird, YES, but so are lawmakers. Well worth reviewing.
Arizona 13-3821. Persons required to register; procedure; identification card; assessment; definitions
  • 15. A second or subsequent violation of indecent exposure to a person under fifteen years of age pursuant to section 13-1402.
  • 16. A second or subsequent violation of public sexual indecency to a minor under the age of fifteen years pursuant to section 13-1403, subsection B.
  • 17. A third or subsequent violation of indecent exposure pursuant to section 13-1402.
  • 18. A third or subsequent violation of public sexual indecency pursuant to section 13-1403.
  • 19. A violation of section 13-3822 or 13-3824.
  • 20. Unlawful age misrepresentation.
CaliforniaPublic Urination In California
ConnecticutSec. 53a-186. Public indecency: Class B misdemeanor. (a) A person is guilty of public indecency when he performs any of the following acts in a public place: (1) An act of sexual intercourse as defined in subdivision (2) of section 53a-65; or (2) a lewd exposure of the body with intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of the person; or (3) a lewd fondling or caress of the body of another person. For the purposes of this section, “public place” means any place where the conduct may reasonably be expected to be viewed by others.

Sec. 54-250. Definitions. For the purposes of sections 54-102g and 54-250 to 54-258a, inclusive: (registration requirements too long to include)
Sec. 54-251. Registration of person who has committed a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or a nonviolent sexual offense.(too long to include)
GeorgiaUrinating in Public Lawyer in Athens, Georgia
IdahoEffective Indecent Exposure Defense in Idaho
Kentucky"Public urination, streaking or mooning or if one fails to prevent his own teenage children from engaging in otherwise consensual sexual activity then the person is sex offender according to the rules of the Kentucky state's laws. In such cases that person need to register on publicly available online list. The term sexual predator is often used to describe severe or repeat sex offenders." Source Kentucky Registry
Massachusetts"Juan Matamoros was arrested for public urination in Massachusetts in 1986. And that branded him a sex offender to this day in Florida, which lists his crime as “Sex Offense, Other State (Open and Gross Lewd & Lascivious Behavior—2 Counts).” In 2007, Matamoros had to move his family because he was not allowed to live within 2,500 feet of a city park, and his registry entry now lists him as “transient.”" ..Continued..
Michigan"Michigan is particularly aggressive, ranking fourth in the nation with the number of offenders on the registry, following only California, Texas and Florida. It also ranks fourth per capita, with 417 registrants per 100,000 citizens. It is one of only 13 states that count public urination as a sex crime, although two convictions are required before registration." ..Continued.... See also: Michigan Indecent Exposure Laws
NevadaNevada Laws for "Urinating in Public" and "Defecating in Public" Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys
New Hampshire645:1 Indecent Exposure and Lewdness.
II. A person is guilty of a class B felony if:
--(a) Such person purposely performs any act of sexual penetration or sexual contact on himself or herself or another in the presence of a child who is less than 16 years of age.
--(b) Such person purposely transmits to a child who is less than 16 years of age, or an individual whom the actor reasonably believes is a child who is less than 16 years of age, an image of himself or herself fornicating, exposing his or her genitals, or performing any other act of gross lewdness.
--(c) Having previously been convicted of an offense under paragraph I, or of an offense that includes the same conduct under any other jurisdiction, the person subsequently commits an offense under paragraph I.
III. A person shall be guilty of a class A felony if having previously been convicted of 2 or more offenses under paragraph II, or a reasonably equivalent statute in another state, the person subsequently commits an offense under this section.

645:1-a Public Urination or Defecation. – A person is guilty of a violation if such person urinates or defecates in a public place, other than a public restroom, under circumstances where the person knew or should have known would likely cause affront or alarm to another. (NOTE: It doesn't appear to require registration as a sex offender Note 645-1-a vs 645-1 different statutes)
REGISTRATION OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS: 651-B:1 Definitions. V. "Sexual offense'' means ...
Against Adult: or a second or subsequent offense within a 5-year period for indecent exposure and lewdness, RSA 645:1
Against a Minor: a second or subsequent offense within a 5-year period for indecent exposure and lewdness, RSA 645:1, I; indecent exposure and lewdness, RSA 645:1, II and RSA 645:1
OklahomaOklahoma Indecent Exposure Defense Lawyers
South CarolinaSex Crimes and Indecent Exposure Defense in South Carolina
TexasWill Public Urination Lead to Being Charged As a Sex Offender?
Utah76-9-702.3. Public urination.
(1) A person is guilty of public urination if the person urinates or defecates:
--(a) in a public place, other than a public rest room; and
--(b) under circumstances which the person should know will likely cause affront or alarm to another

Chapter 41 Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry
77-41-102. Definitions.
(Public Urination does not require registration as a sex offender, note the absence of 76-9-702.3 from the list of crimes required to register. However a Lewdness conviction would require registration)
VermontTitle 13: Crimes and Criminal Procedure
Chapter 59: Lewdness And Prostitution
Subchapter 1: Lewd And Indecent Conduct
§2601. Lewd and lascivious conduct
§2602. Lewd or lascivious conduct with child

Subchapter 003 : Sex Offender Registration;
§5401. Definitions
(10) "Sex offender" means:
--(A) A person who is convicted in any jurisdiction of the United States, including a state, territory, commonwealth, the District of Columbia, or military, federal, or tribal court of any of the following offenses:
------(iii) lewd and lascivious conduct as defined in 13 V.S.A. §2601;
(Note: Online statutes do not show §2602 as requiring registration, but since it deals w/minors,I'd bet the online hasn't been updated to include §2602, so check w/lawyer.)
Steven Yoder"Life on the List" a paper worth reviewing showing the many ways one COULD end up being required to register as a sex offender and ultimately be on the sex offender registry. Yes it includes public urination, the focus of this chart.
Ver. August 2015
Sex Offender Research, All Rights Reserved! © 2015