Whether you were walking home from a bar, partying it up at a block party or just taking a cigarette break outside of a party, you could be putting yourself at risk for getting arrested under public intoxication laws. But just being drunk while in public isn’t a crime in itself. You also must be a public nuisance or a hazard. This is one of the most important aspects of any public intoxication case, and the area your San Diego criminal lawyer will most likely focus on if you are charged with this crime.
Public intoxication applies to people under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. Often the police fail to administer breath or blood tests to public intoxication arrestees making it difficult to prove their level of intoxication. The law applies to anyone in a public place, but being in a vehicle does not preclude prosecution.
If the prosecution is unable to show that a person accused of public intoxication was “unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or [that his conduct interfered with or obstructed or prevented] the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way” or that the defendant was intoxicated while in a public place, then the defendant cannot be convicted for the crime. That is why San Diego criminal attorneys will work to show that their clients were not putting themselves or anyone else in danger, nor blocking any public walkways or streets.
By working with a skilled defense lawyer in Vista, you will have the greatest chances of having these types of charges dropped or reduced. If you have been charged with being drunk in public or with any similar charge of disorderly conduct, please call Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule your free initial consultation.
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