California Penal Code Section 647(f), commonly known as public intoxication, is a misdemeanor that can lead to jail time. Therefore, you need to contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney if you are being accused of public intoxication.
Prosecution for Public Intoxication
In order to convict you for public intoxication under PC 647(f), the prosecution must prove that:
• You were under the influence of alcohol in a public place; and • You were unable to exercise care for your own safety or the safety of others; or • You interfered with, obstructed, or prevented the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.
How Will Police Officers Know I Am Drunk?
If you are being accused of public intoxication, you can be convicted even when there are no breath or blood tests to show your blood alcohol level. Without the assistance of an aggressive Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, your chances of being convicted under these circumstances are greatly increased.
The arresting officer will detail their observations of your appearance and behavior in order to make their case. They will typically say they observed that you had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, smelled like alcohol, were disoriented, or displayed angry or aggressive behavior.
Sentencing for Public Intoxication
Public intoxication is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If you are convicted for public intoxication and are under the age of 21, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your license for one year. If you do not have a driver’s license yet, the court will order that the DMV delay issuing you a driver’s license for one year. (CVC 13202.5)
Defenses to Public Intoxication
Your Wallin & Klarich attorney can help you raise several defenses to help you defend your public intoxication charge. These defenses include:
You were not under the influence of alcohol
In cases where the police officer does not use a blood or breath test to determine that you were intoxicated, your Wallin & Klarich attorney may be able to argue that you were not actually intoxicated. For example, your Wallin & Klarich attorney may be able to argue that your bloodshot eyes and slurred speech were caused by allergies or a lack of sleep.
You were not in a public place
If you were in your own house or another private place at the time of the incident, then you cannot be convicted for public intoxication.
You were not a danger to others or obstructing a public way
Merely being intoxicated in a public place is not enough for the prosecutor to convict you for public intoxication. You must also have been a danger to others or have obstructed a public way. Your Wallin & Klarich attorney can argue that you were neither a danger to others or obstructed public ways.
Wallin & Klarich Public Intoxication Defense Attorneys
If you have been accused of public intoxication in Orange County, you will need an Orange County Public Intoxication Criminal Defense Attorney to vigorously represent you. At Wallin & Klarich, we have successfully defended clients accused of public intoxication for over 30 years. We have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 or visit us at our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.