This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Urinate in Public Place


Urinating in a public place is an offence under the Summary Offences Act 2005. It is a fine only offence but is still often heard and determined in court.

Despite it’s fairly trivial nature, it is important to remember that this offence can result in a conviction and criminal record.

The offence of urinating in a public place is contained under section 7 of the Act which simply states:

  • A person must not urinate in a public place.

There are aggravated factors depending on the location of the offence which determine the maximum penalty.

  • if the person urinates within licensed premises, or in the vicinity of licensed premises — 4 penalty units; or
  • otherwise — 2 penalty units.

There is also a provision contained in the section that “evidence that liquid was seen to be discharged from the vicinity of a person’s pelvic area” is enough evidence that the person was urinating.

What Actions Might Constitute Urinating in a Public Place?

  • Standing beside a tree in a local park urinating.
  • Urinating beside a toilet block outside a sports ground because the toilets are locked.
  • Pouring iced tea from a bottle held near your pelvis with police observing you from behind.

What the Police Must Prove

To convict you of urinating in a public place, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • that you were the person urinating;
  • you were in a public place;
  • you were within a licensed premises or in the vicinity of a licensed premises (aggravated situation).

Possible Defences to Urinating in a Public Place

Possible defences to a charge include:

  • disputing that you were the person who urinated;
  • disputing that the location was a public place;
  • proving that you had no control over urinating (incontinence etc).

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

If not dealt with by way of Infringement Notice, this matter is heard and determined in the Magistrates Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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