Public Intoxication

This page is dedicated to explaining the facts behind a public intoxication violation, the punishment associated with that charge, and how a public intoxication attorney can help you fight against a public intoxication charge.

What is public intoxication?

Public intoxication charges, or sometimes referred to as “drunk and disorderly conduct”, is a criminal charge alleging that a person is visibly drunk in public. The charge also covers anyone who is visibly under the effect of drugs, both illegal and legal, in public. Public intoxication is usually a misdemeanor crime under state and local law.

How does the prosecutor prove that I was guilty of public intoxication?

Because public intoxication is governed by local and state law, there is no one legal definition for the charge. However, the city or state prosecutors usually will have to prove a few essential elements before they can convict someone of public intoxication.  Once arrested and charged, the prosecutor will have to prove the following elements in order to convict someone of public intoxication. A public intoxication attorney can help you disprove these elements:

  • You must appear to be drunk or intoxicated
  • You must be in a public place
  • You must seem out of control or present a danger to yourself or others

Remember, in many states, you don’t actually have to be drunk or high on drugs to be charged with public intoxication, you only have to “appear to be” drunk or high. However, regardless of jurisdiction, the most important factor is whether you were in a public place because you cannot be charged with public intoxication if you are in fact, not in public. There is no single definition of what is a “public place” so it will be up to the laws of your state or city.

What are the punishments for public intoxication?

Public intoxication is usually a misdemeanor and punishable by civil penalties but repeat offenders may find themselves facing imprisonments. Because governing alcohol and drug use is a local police matter, each state and local laws have different penalties associated with public intoxication. Below are some of the most common penalties associated with public intoxication. If you are charged with public intoxication, contact a public intoxication attorney today so that you can avoid some of these punishments!

  • Probation
  • Fines ranging from $50 to $1000 dollars
  • Community Service
  • Compulsory enrollment in a substance abuse class
  • Imprisonment of no longer 90 days for repeat offenders

How can a public intoxication attorney help me once I’m charged?

If you are facing legal charges for public intoxication, a trained public intoxication attorney may help you fight and defend your rights in court. It is very important that you contact public intoxication attorney to learn how they may be able to help you or your family.

A public intoxication attorney can help determine the following elements which will affect the outcome of your case:

  • Whether you, given the particular facts of your case, actually violated city or state law
    • Public intoxication might not be against the law in your state
  • Whether the arresting police or law enforcement officer followed the law
    • you might have been cited in a private place instead of a public place
  • Whether your conduct did constitute a criminal violation
    • You might not have been actually drunk or acting drunk

Complete the form on the right hand side to have local public intoxication attorneys call you directly. The form is quick and easy to complete and an attorneys will contact you at no cost or obligation.