Got a guy in the county relieving himself in his front yard. Absent the TCEQ issues, can he do this? In looking at Disorderly Conduct, if you urinate in your front yard you are not "in a public place" and I cannot find any annotation that says "viewable from a public place" is the same as "in a public place". So if you aren't trying to arouse or gratify any person, you telling me you can walk around in your front yard in your birthday suit? Can anyone help?
You might get some ideas for the argument that a front yard is a public place in this case. Aguilera v. State, No. 2-04-096-CR, 2004 WL 2914316 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth December 16, 2004, pet. ref'd)(not published) (upholding P.I. arrest of defendant that took place in defendant's front yard).
While there has historically been some reluctance to allow a yard to be called a public place, I think Aguilera is consistent with the more recent trend. “The relevant inquiry is whether the public has access to the place.” State v. Gerstenkorn, 239 S.W.3d 357, 359 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 2007, no pet.) (because anyone could enter gated community that had a security guard and limited access, community was a public place); see also Woodruff v. State, 899 S.W.2d 443, 445 (Tex.App.-Austin 1995, pet. ref'd) (holding air force base to be a public place even though the access gates were guarded twenty-four hours a day and the base “wasn't open just for any vehicle to come on base”; however, “given the right set of circumstances,” anyone could gain access).
You might also check to see if there is a local ordinance against urinating in public.
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