Drunk in Public

Drunk in Public - Public Intoxication - Disorderly Conduct - Under the Influence in Public

 

Drunk in Public - California Penal Code Section 647(f) states that every person “Who is found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance, or toluene, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way” is guilty of a MISDEMEANOR.

 

P.C. 647(f) basically makes it a misdemeanor to be drunk or under the influence of drugs in a public place such that you cannot exercise care for your own safety, the safety of others or you obstruct free use of that public place.

The code defines "public" to mean, a city street, sidewalk, shopping mall, restaurant or nightclub-any place open to the public. Although a misdemeanor conviction for public intoxication can potentially expose a person to 6 months in county jail, our office has been able to get the charges dismissed for a first time offense with minimal community service. Often times we work out an arrangement with the District Attorney for the person involved to attend 10 or 15 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (or AA meetings) upon the completion of which the charge is dismissed.

 

Often Disorderly Conduct occurs in conjunction with other offenses that are more serious, depending on the behavior of the intoxicated individual. A common misconception is that there are no defenses to being drunk in public. However, the prosecution has the burden of showing that a person was so intoxicated that they were unable to care for themselves, and in many cases, upon a closer examination of the evidence that burden is not so easily met. Thus an experienced attorney who knows your local Court can work out a good resolution for you.

 

Particularly for a first time offense, the prosecution and the judge may be open to agree to AA classes or counseling in lieu of a jail sentence. We will work hard to have your charges dismissed. We will also pursue alternative sentencing so that you can avoid spending time in jail for an offense which does not necessarily warrant such a harsh punishment.

 

Contact the attorneys who can make a difference in YOUR case. If you, a friend or a loved one is charged with Drunk in Public in Los Angeles county, or facing Disorderly Conduct charges in Los Angeles Court, don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and call our office immediately, your call is FREE! 

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