City prosecutors likely will lose a drug case against a 22-year-old man because the city did not have an ordinance making it illegal to urinate in public when he was arrested.
In March, police stopped a man after they witnessed him urinating along a desolate street on the outskirts of the city. Officers cited the man for urinating in public and then searched his car. During the search, they discovered a small amount of a controlled substance and charged him with possessing drugs.During the court process, however, attorneys discovered that Springville had no law against urinating in public. Because the man was doing nothing illegal, police had no reason to detain him.
"They likely will lose the drug case because they did not have probable cause to search the car because he wasn't doing anything illegal," City Attorney Harold Mitchell told the City Council Tuesday night.
Mitchell said the law was inadvertently removed from the city code when the city adopted the state criminal code in 1992.
Tuesday, the council corrected the problem and passed an ordinance making it illegal to urinate or defecate in public.