Enjoying your favorite alcoholic refreshments in a public place can easily lead to being charged with public drunkenness, potentially accompanied by a harsh punishment. However, simply being drunk in public is not enough for a drunk in public conviction. Your drunken state must endanger you or others, or interfere with others’ use of public venues.
If you face drunk in public charges, it is well worth your effort to secure an aggressive criminal defense law firm to fight for your rights.
Prosecution of Public Drunkenness
To convict you of drunk in public the prosecution must prove the following three elements:
• You were willfully under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a controlled substance
• You were in a public place while you were under the influence; AND
• You either:
- Were unable to exercise care for your own or others’ safety; OR
- Interfered with, obstructed, or prevented the free use of a street, sidewalk, or other public path
Punishment if Convicted of Being Drunk in Public
Under PC 647(f), a drunk in public conviction is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to 6 months in county jail, and/or $1,000 fine. The judge may sentence you to probation instead of imprisonment. However, even if you are granted probation, a drunk in public conviction will still show up on your criminal record. This record is available to prospective employers and licensing agencies to see.
Your punishment will be harsher if you are convicted 3 times of being drunk in public within a 12-month period. In that case, you face at least 90 days in county jail.
Drunk in Public Defense Lawyer
The law firm of Wallin & Klarich has been successfully defending clients accused of being drunk in public for over 30 years. Our many years of experience allow us to have extensive familiarity with drunk in public law. Due to our knowledge of the law, in many drunk in public cases we have been able to have the charges our dismissed or reduced.
From the first day you retain us we immediately begin aggressive and effective defense work. We begin by doing extensive fact-gathering of the circumstances surrounding your case. Our goal is to obtain the most powerful evidence for the purposes of your defense.
After extensive discovery, we do everything in our power to persuade the prosecutor that he will not be able to convict you of being drunk in public. The prosecutor often drops all charges as a result of these negotiations.
If you face drunk in public charges, there may be much more at stake than you think. Secure the aggressive defense of Wallin & Klarich to keep you out of jail. We have the skill and experience to help you win your case. Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.