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Public Intoxication/Drunk in Public Charge FAQs – California Penal Code 647(f)

If you or a loved one have are facing a public intoxication/drunk in public charge, you are facing some serious punishment. It is crucial for you to understand the importance of hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you in this matter, as the effects of such a crime could be damaging to your life and to your future. To help you understand the various aspects of a drunk in public charge under PC 647(f)1, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Will I be prosecuted if I am drunk in public?

Perhaps. The police have the option to detain, rather than arrest you if you’ve had too much to drink and you were out in public. You may be allowed to “sober up” in protective custody for several hours, and then released without being charged with a crime. It all depends on your behavior at the time.

Is a drunk in public charge punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony?

A drunk in public charge is only punishable as a misdemeanor. However, if you commit some other crime while intoxicated, you could face more serious charges.

Can I receive a drunk in public charge if I am in a parked car?

Yes. If you are parked on any public street and you are intoxicated while sitting in your car, the police may arrest you and file a drunk in pubic charge against you. What’s worse, the police may allege you were attempting to drive under the influence, and charge you with the much more serious crime of DUI, depending on the circumstances.

What happens if I am under 21 years old and I am given a drunk in public charge?

You face even greater consequences if you are underage and you are given a drunk in public charge than someone of legal age. In addition to possible jail time, fines, probation and/or community service, the court may also suspend or delay your driving privileges for one year.

Where can I find the best criminal defense lawyer to represent me?

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Contact the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich if you have been charged with drunk in public

If you or someone you care about has been arrested for public intoxication under penal code §647(f), it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with disorderly conduct cases. With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich has successfully represented clients facing drunk in public charges for over 30 years. We have the knowledge and the experience to help you win your case.

Call today at 877-4-NO-JAIL or fill out our confidential form. We will be there when you call.


1. California Penal Code Section 647: http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/647.html

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