Being drunk in public doesn’t seem like such a huge deal, but it’s actually a misdemeanor offense that could leave you in jail. But just walking in public after drinking a beer or two isn’t enough to get you charged with this crime and neither is drinking a beer in public. Here’s what you should know about California’s drunk in public laws courtesy of Vista DUI defense attorney Peter M. Liss.
Also known as drunk and disorderly, public intoxication charges are usually only applied to those who are both drunk in public and acting unruly through some type of public disturbance. If a person is indulging in acts that could harm his or herself, could result in harm to others, could cause property damage, or of the person is interfering with others trying to use the street or sidewalk, he or she could be accused of public intoxication. Like many crimes, these charges largely depend on the discretion of the arresting officer. In many cases, the defendant was simply drunk and yelling loudly in the street, which is not enough to result in a conviction for this charge. If you have been accused of being drunk and disorderly, it’s important to talk to your Vista criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your best course of action in fighting the charges.
Public intoxication is a misdemeanor offense and sentencing may include a $1000 fine and up to six months in jail, and subsequent violations may carry sentencing enhancements. While simply being drunk and stopping someone from being able to cross the street may seem like a minor crime, it can still leave you in jail, which is why you should never attempt to fight these charges without the help of a Vista DUI lawyer.
If you have been charged with being drunk in public, Vista criminal attorney Peter Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
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