April 27, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

Under California Penal Code 647(f), public intoxication is listed as a crime of disorderly conduct and is a misdemeanor. Public intoxication is when a person is found in any public place under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and is in a condition where he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others. Public intoxication also occurs if a person, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.

To convict a defendant, the prosecution must prove that 1) the defendant was willfully under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 2) the defendant was in a public place, and 3) the defendant was either unable to exercise care for his/her own safety, or the safety of others or the defendant interfered with, obstructed, or prevented the free use of a street, sidewalk, or other public way.

It is important to have a criminal defense attorney if you are facing public intoxication charges. An experienced attorney can inform you of all the defenses that are available in your case. Some of the most common public intoxication defenses are that the defendant was not under the influence or it was not in a public place.

Public intoxication penalties include imprisonment in county jail for up to six months and a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000). Also, if the defendant is under 21 years of age, a conviction for public intoxication will result in the suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license for one year. See California Vehicle Code Section 13202.5.

For more information, please visit us on our website at www.wklaw.com and read our Public Intoxication Section. You will find more in-depth information regarding the possible defenses and the types of punishment you may face.

If you or a loved one is facing public intoxication charges, you need to speak with an experienced public intoxication attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling all types of criminal matters. Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable and will keep you fully informed of your case. We will fight to get you the best possible result in your case. Call us today at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.

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