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Public Pissing is Illegal in California

It sounds like California has added new weight to go after pissing movies.

San Francisco – A state appeals court in San Francisco ruled this week that urinating in public is a crime under California law.

The Court of Appeal made the ruling in the case of David McDonald, who was arrested by a police officer for urinating in a restaurant parking lot in Berkeley on the morning of Jan. 26, 2003.

When the officer searched McDonald, he found six rocks of cocaine base in his pocket.

McDonald was convicted in Alameda County Superior Court of cocaine possession and sentenced to three years’ probation.

McDonald argued in his appeal that the cocaine should not be allowed as evidence because public urination is not a crime and there was therefore no justification for arresting and searching him.

A three-judge appeals panel said in a 20-page opinion that relieving oneself in public does not qualify as a littering crime under state law but does qualify as a crime of committing a public nuisance.

The court said public urination fit the definition of a public nuisance, described in state law as an act that is injurious to health, indecent or offensive to the senses and that interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.

Justice Anthony Kline wrote, “There can be little doubt that urination on or near a busy commercial street interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of both life and property.”

Kline continued, “The sight and smell of urine are vile and offensive, and those who use the public streets and sidewalks cannot be freely subjected to such unpleasantness.”

The ruling applies to acts in public places such as the vicinity of a busy street.

The court noted that “there might well be circumstances in which a single, discreet act of public urination would not violate” the public nuisance law.

Kline wrote, “Thus, for example, a hiker responding to an irrepressible call of nature in an isolated area in the backwoods cannot reasonably be seen as interfering with any right common to the public.”

The court rejected McDonald’s bid for suppression of the cocaine evidence and upheld his conviction.

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