Given that many dogs are legally required to be on a leash in many cities (including Minneapolis, it may seem like a safe assumption that a dog’s life is more regulated than a human’s. Yet, in one area of criminal law, the opposite is true: Public Urination. That’s right, where a dog is free to pee in Minnesota, a human may be charged with a misdemeanor.

While the State of Minnesota does not have a specific criminal statute for public urination, often times a person who urinates in public can be charged with Disorderly Conduct. Take notice that subdivision three includes conduct that is “offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy.” This is often the basis for which a person may be charged if observed urinating or defecating in public.

Additionally, many cities have specific ordinances that address public urination. For example, Minneapolis Ordinance 227.180 (entitled “Public Urination Prohibited”) states: “[A]ny person who urinates or defecates on any public street, alley, sidewalk or floor of any public building or of any building where the public gathers or has access, or in any other place, whether public or private, where such act could be observed by any member of the public, except in such place that has been designated as a restroom is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Other cities have similar language, granting authority for law enforcement to charge you with urinating in public.

Please contact a criminal defense attorney with any questions surrounding public urination in Minnesota.