ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Sometimes the call of nature can strike at an inopportune moment. You could be hiking along a trail when that morning coffee goes right through you, and you wander off to a secluded area, unzip, and then you’re spotted.

Can you be charged with public indecency for peeing in a public place in Illinois?

According to Illinois law, public indecency is always considered a sex crime, and there are two forms of public indecency that are against the law. One is having sex with another person in public. The other “a lewd exposure of the body done with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of the person.”

So, peeing in a public place is not considered public indecency according to state law. However, many cities and municipalities in Illinois do have ordinances that make public urination or defecation a misdemeanor crime.

Rockford’s general ordinances (Sec. 19-20) read “It shall be unlawful to urinate or defecate on any street, alley, sidewalk, parkway, public parking lot, or other public place.”

Chicago, for instance, has an ordinance making it “unlawful for any person to urinate or defecate in public view or on or in any street, alley, sidewalk, parking lot, yard, park, playground, school yard, cemetery, building, structure, plaza, public or utility right-or-way, or other public place, other than an enclosed structure designated as a restroom or bathroom.” The rule does not apply to children under the age of five.

In Chicago, you can be fined $133.

However, in 2018, the village of Machesney Park declined to pass an ordinance restricting access to a small island in Williams Park on the Rock River dubbed “Pee Island” for attracting boaters.