California Penal Code 647f defines public intoxication as being willfully under the influence while you are in a public area. You must also be so drunk that you cannot care for your safety or of the others around you, and/or you are drunk to the point that you have become a hindrance or obstruction to other people using the public walkways such as pavements or streets. Public intoxication charges are often not that serious as it is considered a misdemeanor. However, if charge with this crime, you must be wary because a guilty verdict will result to a permanent record that can affect future employments and other future opportunities. It is important that one must find a legal expert or a Los Angeles public intoxication attorney that can help you make a strong case and forcefully defend your innocence like Attorney Randy Collins.
What are the possible defenses of public intoxication?
Defending a public intoxication charge can be done by proving one, some, or all of the following things:
- You were not on a “public place” – Police often make arrests based on public intoxication through tips or complains made by people. So there may be instances that you were able to disturb other people because of a rowdy behavior and that can lead to the arrest. However, it worth remembering that for a public intoxication charge to stick, you have to be in a public place and your backyard, front yard, hotel room, or other similar places cannot be considered “public place.”
- You were not that intoxicated – One of the elements of public intoxication is that you must be so willfully intoxicated that you cannot care for yourself or others and that you have hindered the public from using public walkways. However, it is also well-known that people have different levels of tolerance for alcohol. Some people might already be so drunk after 5 cans of beer while others were just getting started after similar amount of beer. Therefore, the prosecution must prove without a doubt that you were very intoxicated and therefore qualified for the elements required of the charge.
- You were not willfully intoxicated – There are instances where unknown to you, you could have been drugged in a bar or a club and after being taken advantage of, left in the alleys, pavement, or the side of the street. If this is the case, then it does not qualify as public intoxication.
The possible penalties for a guilty verdict of public intoxication can include a jail sentence, fines of less than $1,000, and probably probation too. However, it is the permanent record of your crime that is the most daunting. If you are worried of this, get a public intoxication attorney that can help you skip this punishment by making a deal with the DA and the judge. Attorney Randy Collins has experience and knowledge necessary to make this deal. Call his office and schedule a consultation for your case now.