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Can you be arrested for indecent exposure for public urination?

If you are a college student, you’ve probably been there: You’re outside with your friends, hanging out after having a few drinks. Eventually, nature calls—and there’s no bathroom in sight. Do you risk it and pee outside?

Public urination is illegal in every state of the country. The charges and penalties can vary widely, though. Indiana completely prohibits exposing one’s genitals in public—for any reason. The state of Indiana has its own rules and consequences if you are caught peeing in public.

The state breaks down public exposure into three categories. These include:

1. Public indecency

The most serious form of indecent exposure is public indecency—in Indiana, it is a Class A misdemeanor. Public indecency means deliberately having sex in public, exposing one’s genitals for sexual titillation or being nude in public so that a child under the age of 16 will see you. A conviction for public indecency can lead to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

2. Indecent exposure

If someone commits an act of public indecency in an area that is not public but private, the law considers it indecent exposure. Although it is a less serious charge than public indecency, it can still have major ramifications. Indecent exposure is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

3. Public nudity

Now we arrive at public nudity. This is the charge that usually accompanies public urination. Public nudity means publicly revealing one’s genitals, rear end or breasts (if you are female). Public nudity, like indecent exposure, is usually classified as a Class C misdemeanor, but it can be bumped up to a Class B misdemeanor if you intended for someone else to see you.

The reason that public urination is not considered public indecency is that it is generally not meant to sexually arouse the perpetrator or someone else. It can sometimes be difficult for the state to prove that someone was exposing themselves for the sake of sexual gratification, as the defendant will often claim that he or she was merely peeing in public. Even so, public nudity is still a serious charge that you do not want to have on your record. If you are facing charges relating to public urination, you may wish to hire an attorney.

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