Defenses to Public Intoxication

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What is Public Intoxication?

Public intoxication is a type of criminal charge alleging that a person is visibly intoxicated, drunk, or under the influence of drugs in a public place.  Public intoxication, or public drunkenness, is considered a misdemeanor under most state and local laws.

Public intoxication statutes serve to prevent persons from causing harm, injury, or disturbances to the public.  A person does not actually need to consume the alcohol in public to be charged with this crime; it is enough if the person simply appears in public while obviously or visibly drunk. 

The crime of public intoxication is related to a host of other criminal and traffic charges, including: disturbing the peace, breach of the peace and disorderly conduct.

Are there any Defenses to Public Intoxication Charges?

Yes- if you are facing public intoxication charges, you may have a number of defenses available to you.  Some of these defenses may include:

Be sure to take note of the circumstances you were under when you were issued a public drunkenness citation.  You may wish to record the exact time, date, and location of the incident.  It is very helpful to have witness testimony verifying the details of your case.

Do I need a Lawyer for Public Intoxication charges?

You may wish to consult with a criminal lawyer if you are being charged with public drunkenness.  Your attorney can examine the facts surrounding your charges to determine if you have a defense.  Public intoxication and other types of public disturbance laws can vary widely according to state. 

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Last Modified: 03-12-2014 10:46 AM PDT

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