Santa Monica, Public Urination, Plea to Infraction, No Fines

Our Client spent the evening drinking and playing pool with friends in Santa Monica.  It was getting late and our client became hungry.  He asked his friend if he was hungry as well and the two agreed to venture outside the bar to find a hamburger.
Summary:  Santa Monica, Misdemeanor Public Urination Case, Airport Courthouse, Case Resolved for Infraction Disturbing the Peace and 16 Hours of Community Service, No Fines.
The two were walking down the street, attempting to find a restaurant, when our Client felt the urge to urinate.  It was about midnight and quite a few of the restaurants were closed.  The bars all had cover charges of five or ten dollars, which our Client refused to pay just to use a restroom and then leave.

Our Client and his friend continued looking for a restroom and were becoming frustrated by their lack of success.  Finally, our Client decided to simply duck behind a large bush and relieve himself.

After he did so, he walked about ten feet before being approached by a City of Santa Monica Police Officer.  The officer accused our Client of urinating into the bush and our Client admitted he had done so, apologizing and asking if he would be arrested.  The officer said no, he would just receive a ticket, which he then wrote out, citing our client for a misdemeanor violation of City of Santa Monica Municipal Code § 5.08.110(O), “Urinating in Public.”

The Client was from Washington State, so he returned to home by airplane the next day.  Once there, he scoured the internet about what penalties he faced and how to handle the ticket.

He then called Greg Hill & Associates and described the facts.  He advised Greg Hill that he had a prior conviction for DUI within the last ten years, which Greg noted as disqualifying our client for AB2124 diversion (Penal Code §§ 1001.94 to 1001.98).  The Client also asked Greg about having to register as a sex offender, to which Greg responded this would be extremely unlikely given the facts.

The Santa Monica City Attorney, at the arraignment, looked over the police report and discussed the facts of the case with Greg.  Prior to the arraignment, Greg had recommended that the Client attend 20 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, which the client did.  The Client gave Greg the proof of attendance sign-in-sheet for the AA meetings, which Greg gave to the prosecutor.

The prosecutor was favorably impressed with this, offering to reduce the charges to an infraction for disturbing the peace (Penal Code § 415(2)) if the Client did sixteen hours of community service.

Greg relayed the offer to the Client, who agreed to the offer.  The Client then did perform the sixteen hours of community service in Seattle.  He then provided Greg Hill with proof of having served the sixteen hours.

Greg then returned to the LAX Airport Courthouse, showing the Santa Monica City Attorney the proof of community service.  The prosecutor then amended the complaint to allege an infraction violation of Penal Code § 415(2), to which the Client’s plea was entered.  The judge accepted the plea and ordered no fees or fines, which was great.  

The Client was very happy with reducing the offense to an infraction and avoiding any fines. 

For more information about the issues in this case, click on the following articles:
  1. What Is the Difference Between an Infraction and a Misdemeanor?
  2. What Punishment Do I Face for Public Urination?
  3. What is Disturbing the Peace (Penal Code § 415)?
Watch our video about sex offenses by clicking here.

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