It is not a crime for you to be drunk in a public place. According to California Penal Code section 647(f), you can only be found guilty of being drunk in public if:
(1) You are in any public place under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or controlled substance; and (2) You are unable to exercise care for your own safety or the safety of others; or (3) You interfere with, obstruct, or prevent the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.
Simply put, in order for you to be found guilty of being drunk in public under California Penal Code section 647(f), you must be so drunk that you are a nuisance or hazard to others.
Punishment for Being Drunk in Public
The crime of being drunk in public is a misdemeanor. If you are convicted for public intoxication, you could face up to six months in county jail, probation, and fine up to $1,000. In addition, your public intoxication conviction will go on your permanent record, which will be available for future employers and licensing agencies to see.
Defenses to Charges of Being Drunk in Public
To avoid the serious consequences of a public intoxication conviction, it is important that you contact an experienced drunk in public criminal defense attorney to assist you in fighting your public intoxication charges. You may have several defenses available to you in your case, including:
(1) The location was not public: If you were drunk at your home or any other non-public place, you cannot be convicted for being drunk in public.
(2) You were not so drunk that you were a safety hazard to others: For example, your defense attorney could present evidence that shows you were able to pay for your drinks and speak clearly to law enforcement, which indicates that you were not so drunk as to be a safety hazard to anyone around you.
(3) Law enforcement lacked probable cause to arrest you for being drunk in public: For example, if the arresting police officer did not personally see you drunk in public, you may be able to show that proper police procedures were not followed and have the charges against you dismissed.
Wallin & Klarich will review the facts of your case in order to develop the best possible defense for your case and will seek to get the charges against you dismissed, or at the very least, assist you to get a reduced sentence.
Call A Wallin & Klarich Drunk in Public Defense Attorney
The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience helping clients successfully defend their public intoxication cases. The Drunk in Public Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are knowledgeable about the law and will work to present the best possible defense in your case. We understand that any criminal charge against you can be stressful and are here to help. We have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance and Sherman Oaks. Call Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 280-6839. We will get through this together.