AFTER going to a party, 16-year-old Themba was on his way home and stopped next to the road to pee.

While doing so, a police officer saw him and wanted to arrest him, saying public urination was illegal.

Themba got off with a warning, but his mum, Lindy, was worried that he might be prosecuted for this.

She approached Scorpion Legal Protection to find out if her son could go to jail for this.

What does the law say?

The City’s Nuisance and Behaviour in Public Places By-law states that no person is allowed to urinate or defecate in a public place, except in facilities provided for this.

This law can be used by the police to arrest any person who pees in public because this is a criminal offence.

Being caught may also result in you going to jail, where you’ll have to apply for bail or possibly go to trial.

How do you get out of such a charge?

If your case goes to trial, the prosecution will decide whether to prosecute or not.

If they prosecute, they’ll have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. If there’s no evidence to prove this, it’ll be your word against the police officer’s, making it difficult to prove your innocence.

Legally, your chances of being found not guilty are slim, especially if a police officer caught you
red-handed.

But if the officer only heard what sounded like someone urinating and or smelt urine and saw you walking away from the area, a skilled cross-examiner might create a small but reasonable doubt about whether you were the culprit or not, provided you hadn’t admitted guilt when you were arrested.

What can Scorpion do?

If you are arrested under the charge of public urination, Scorpion can help you defend yourself by appointing a lawyer to appear on your behalf.

The way forward

Themba got lucky. But if he gets caught urinating in public again, he might get arrested. His mum now knows what the law on public urination is and has spoken to her son about never doing it again.

You can strike back legally too!


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