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Defenses for a Public Intoxication Case

Public intoxication is a misdemeanor offense that you can be charged with if you are drunk or under the influence of drugs while in public. Laws against public intoxication exist in order to avoid intoxicated people disrupting the peace or potentially causing harm to others. If you have been charged with public intoxication, there are several defenses you can employ. 

You Were Not Drunk

The first defense you can turn to is if you were not drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time. When officers arrest someone for being intoxicated, it is typically based on your behavior and their opinion of whether or not you appear intoxicated. If no official chemical test is conducted to prove you were intoxicated, you can claim that you were not actually drunk at the time. California also has measures in place for those who were involuntarily intoxicated. This includes having your drink spiked. If you were not willfully drunk, then this can also be used as a defense. 

The Area Was Not a Public Place

In order for it to be a public intoxication case, you need to be in a public place. There are certain areas that do not count as public property. If you were on private property, such as in or around your home, then this does not count as public property. You can’t be charged with public intoxication unless you step onto the sidewalk, street, or other public property. 

You Were Not Creating an Interference or Obstruction 

An essential part of a public intoxication case is if you are disrupting the peace in any way. As mentioned, the main concern with public intoxication is if you are interfering with other people or if you’re a risk to yourself or others. Usually, it takes a great deal of alcohol before you cause any kind of hazards. For example, simply being above the maximum blood alcohol level of 0.08% is not enough to convict you. You need to be far more inebriated. When working on your case, you can use this defense and claim that your intoxication did not make you a risk in any way and it did not cause you to disturb others.  A public intoxication case consists of several conditions that need to be met. If any of these conditions are not met, you can use that as a defense for your case. There are several approaches you can take and consulting with an attorney can help you find the right one.  Looking for assistance on your public intoxication case? Click here to find an attorney to help build your case. 

Bradley Corbett

Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.

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