Public Urination

Posted by on Aug 24, 2008 in Stories

It was 11:30 AM on a Sunday, and I was at my friend’s condo. I was a little groggy, having spent the night before drinking hard. I desperately needed to pee, but the restroom was being used, and I could not find the restroom in the condo lobby, so I decided to take a quick whiz outside on the way to my car.

The Bust

Lining the sidewalk, there was a short row of bushes. No people and no cars, so I turn my back to the street and begin to relieve myself.

Just as the stream begins to flow, I see a black car with about 15 antennas sticking out of the back drive by. It was a cop, for sure, but did he see me? I try to inconspicuously finish and get into my car as quickly as I can.

I’m about to start the engine when the black car spins around and screeches to a halt right in front of me.

“You! Get out of the car!” the officer yells as he hops out. A female officer emerges from the other side.

I slowly get out of my car and close the door behind me.

“Put your hands on the hood!” the male officer yells, pointing his finger aggressively. I gently place my keys on the hood so as to not scratch it and only touch the car with my fingertips since it is quite dirty.

“You think it’s OK to urinate in public like that?”


“You think the female officer riding with me or anyone else needs to see that?”


“Have a seat right there on the curb.”

I sit down. It’s not comfortable sitting on a curb, and I certainly couldn’t hear the officer any better from down there, so I wonder why this is part of the procedure. Sitting at his feet, I felt a bit like a 6-year-old being screamed at by his Daddy. Maybe that’s the whole point.

Looking up, I can see him playing with the strap holding one of his two guns in its holster.

“I need your license or ID,” he says. The female officer walks over to collect it and then returns to her car to do run it.

“What made you think that urinating in public was OK? Why did you do it?” I can sense that officer wants me to grovel or apologize, but that’s not going to happen. I search for the response that was most likely to end the conversation.

“It was a bad judgment call,” I say.

The morning sun is too strong for my tired eyes, so I rub them a little bit.

“Were you drinking last night?” the male officer asks. I can’t blame him for asking, as I looked like hell and was just pissing on a bush, but it had been a good 10 hours and I knew I was fine.


“How many did you have?”

“Maybe three drinks.” I rub my eyes again.

“I think you probably had more than three drinks, didn’t you?”

“No. Three drinks.”

“Well, you’re a criminal now,” the male officer says. “This is going to go on your criminal record.” Wow, what a dick.

“I’m also going to run a PBT test on you to make sure you’re OK to drive.”


At that moment, another unmarked police car pulls up. The male officer requests for it to be parked sideways so that it blocks the street and stops traffic. Good move, as this would prevent me from running down the street and pissing on everyone.

The female officer returns with some paperwork and begins to explain stuff.

“Here’s your citation,” she says. “You have to go to the court date indicated on the citation. You’ll probably have to pay a small fine. Do you understand?”


“Do you understand?” she asks again, assuming I am mentally retarded. At this point, I am pretty pissed off (so to speak), but I do my best to contain it. I know they want any reason to step up the harassment.


What a Way to Start the Day

The male officer returns from the car with his breathalyzer device.

“You can stand up now,” he says. I get up and put my hands in my pockets, patiently waiting for him to get the device ready.

“Gyer sow kits,” the female officer mumbles.


“GET YOUR HANDS OUT OF YOUR POCKETS!” the enraged female officer shouts as she charges over to me. My hands fly up.

The male officer steps over. “I need you to breathe into this to measure your alcohol content. Breathe hard.”

I breathe hard. I’m curious what number the device came up with, but he doesn’t show me and I don’t feel like asking. I can tell by his expression that it’s not quite as high as he hoped it would be.

With a click, guy cop dispenses the straw onto the street.

“You’re OK to go,” he says.

The whole time, this male officer had a major attitude problem. He was aggressive and condescending for no good reason. I was calm and collected the whole time, and at no point did I disobey or show aggression. I think he was trying to put on a show for the female officer.

After they drove off, I picked up the plastic straw from the breathalyzer. I thought maybe I could bust him for littering.

The Crime

So it turns out that, in the state of Virginia, public urination is a Class 1 misdemeanor, as serious as a DUI. Really?

VA Code Ann. § 18.2-387.
Indecent Exposure: Every person who intentionally makes an obscene display or exposure of his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where others are present, or procures another to so expose himself, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. No person shall be deemed to be in violation of this section for breastfeeding a child in any public place or any place where others are present.

Turns out that if I was facing the street and masturbating, the crime would not have been any more severe.

VA Code Ann. § 18.2-387.1.
Obscene Sexual Display: Any person who, while in any public place where others are present, intending that he be seen by others, intentionally and obscenely as defined in § 18.2-372, engages in actual or explicitly simulated acts of masturbation, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

If only I had known.

In Virginia, one would NOT have to register as a sex offender for either of the above violations, but I was still facing a possible sentence of a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. I needed a lawyer. My housemate’s lawyer friend quoted me a flat fee of $500 for my defense. I agreed.

As we built my defense, I showed the lawyer my plastic breathalyzer straw and suggested that we cite the police officer for littering, but he advised against it.

The Court Date

I showed up to the courthouse dressed like someone who would never pee in a bush or masturbate facing a street. After some downtime, my lawyer emerged from the courtroom saying that the officer who had written the citation had resigned. Case dismissed.

The officer had a real attitude problem, and I like to think that he got fired for it. I’ll never know.

On the way out, my lawyer suggested that I pay an additional $99 to the courthouse to get the citation expunged from my record. Even though there was no conviction, it turns out that the public urination charge remains on my record, and one has to PAY the court to get it removed. Really? I decided to save my money and leave it on there. Makes for a good story if it ever comes up.

The Moral

Who hasn’t taken a piss outside? Everyone I know has. Even the girls.

This isn’t going to stop me from doing it again. It’s even good for the freakin’ grass. So go ahead and pee outside, preferably on some greenery. Just make sure there’s no chance that you’ll be seen by a cop.

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