Public Intoxication in California
What is the definition of public intoxication in California? And what does it really mean to be drunk in public in California? Though it may sound like these terms refer to drinking or getting drunk in public, they actually refer to circumstances where you might be so drunk that you are a threat to the safety of yourself or those around you.
There’s some confusion about what constitutes public intoxication in California, even among law enforcement and prosecutors. If you’ve been charged with being drunk in public in California, it’s important that you understand the law, penalties, and defenses against the charges.
What Is Public Intoxication in California?
According to the California Penal Code 647 (f), a person can be charged with public intoxication if they are drunk to the point that they are not able to take care of their own safety or the safety of others, or if they are obstructing public sidewalks or paths. It is not a crime to simply be drunk in public.
Being convicted of being drunk in public in California is a misdemeanor crime. A person charged with public intoxication might face penalties of up to six months in county jail or a fine of up to $1,000. The crime will also go on a permanent criminal record.
Defenses for Public Intoxication in California
There are three defenses against public intoxication charges in California:
- The person wasn’t actually in a public place while drunk (such as in their home or the home of a friend).
- There isn’t enough evidence to show that the person was drunk (or drunk enough to be a threat to safety).
- The person’s civil rights have been violated with the charge.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
Sometimes police officers and prosecutors wrongfully charge someone with public intoxication in California. Even if you’re only a little bit buzzed or slightly drunk in public, there’s a chance you could get a public intoxication charge that results in probation, fines, and jail time. This charge goes on your permanent record and will be visible to your employer, too.
Luckily, the right criminal defense attorney can help fight your cause and prove that you shouldn’t be charged for being drunk in public. Bradley R Corbett is a skilled criminal defense attorney with the experience and knowledge to show your innocence if you were not a danger to yourself or others in public.
Contact Bradley Corbett Law Today
If you’ve been charged with public intoxication in California, contact Bradley Corbett’s criminal defense team in San Diego. We’ll help get you the most favorable results for your case, so you won’t have a permanent charge on your criminal record. Being drunk in public in California doesn’t have to affect your life long-term. Get in touch today to let us help.
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.