You know how hard it can be to find a restroom when you need one, especially if it is after closing time for most businesses. In a moment of desperation, you may decide that you have no choice but to use an alley or some other unoccupied area. However, that does not mean that no one will notice. What if the police pick you up and say that you are guilty of indecent exposure?
Technically, this could happen, but you may also be able to fight these charges. The key factor here is your intent. Someone who is exposing him- or herself as a sexual act, with the goal of being seen by those who do not want to witness such a thing, is taking a very different action than someone who is trying to hide in an alley to relieve him- or herself. The end goal is not the same at all, though both people may technically be exposed.
Different states have addressed this in different ways, but the goal is usually to put some distance between urinating in public and crimes like rape or sexual assault. If all of those crimes could make it so that you are publicly labeled a sex offender, is that really fair? Did you really commit a crime that is on par with the others?
To many lawmakers, it is clear that there is a difference, though you may have to demonstrate this in court, as it is not always possible for police officers to note the difference when making the arrest. If you have been charged with sex crimes, be sure that you know what options you have.
Source: FindLaw, "Indecent Exposure" Dec. 30, 2014