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Charge of Urinating in Public

Caught urinating in a public laneway in Temple Bar. No public toilets. Had to go. In Court, what is penalty? Don’t say get solicitor. Dave, Dublin 6.

Hi Dave.  You don’t tell me what you’re specifically charged with (it should be on the summons or charge sheet). Let’s assume it’s a  Public Order Offence Unless you can prove you had a medical condition Dave, you are likely to be found guilty.  The view of the Court is that if you had to go you should have gone before you left wherever you came from.  In Court you should make a plea that you looked desperately for a public toilet or a pub or a hotel into which you could secure the relief sought but couldn’t and the only alternative was to do what you did.  Depending on the charge, the penalty for a first offence is likely to be a maximum of €500.00. (Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 or maximum of €500.00 or 6 month’s in prison or both (Criminal Law Amendment Act 1935 as amended).

 If you have behaved courteously to the Garda and have a reasonable excuse, you should ask the judge to give you the benefit of the Probation of Offender’s Act.

Declan Carty says: "I presume that this will be treated as a minor offence?"

Brian: "Probably yes but desipte what Dave says about not going to a solicitor I think he should consider doing so because having a criminal conviction could cause him problems - for example getting into America even on holidays. An experienced criminal solicitor will know how to apply to the court to secure the application of the Probation Act.

Declan: "Does the Probation Act carry the status of a conviction?"

Brian: "No it doesn't"

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