Laws on public intoxication are created to control people from disturbing public peace and to remove those impaired with alcohol from hurting themselves or others.
Described as “drunk and disorderly”, the person faces a legal charge for appearing visibly drunk or under the influence of drugs in public and considered by state and local law as a misdemeanor crime.
Basic elements constituting public intoxication as a criminal charge
A number of these elements are: (1) the person appears or is impaired; (2) the person is drunk or intoxicated; and (3) the person is in public.
In most states, the prosecutor must prove that the suspect is so out of control and unable to look after himself or that a threat to the safety of others.
One key element to the charges is the suspect’s behavior and demeanor when arrested. Another key component of charges for public intoxication charge is that the suspect is in a public place.
Intoxication charges in Philadelphia: In Philadelphia, cops are out arresting people for public intoxication feeling confident that charges will not be fought; however, no need for the suspect to pay the fine and surrender, as you can put up a legal fight of your public intoxication charges in Philadelphia.
These types of charges are generally labeled as misdemeanors; but being subject to a guilty verdict for drunkenness charge can hinder your peaceful life.
If convicted in Philadelphia for public intox and drunkenness, authorities would conduct checks of your life, your work, property, your banker deposit, insurance, schools, and etc. Philadelphia police officers would consider them important factors in determining your case.
To face public intoxication charges, consider potential defenses: Most of them will prove that there is little or no evidence to support one or more of the elements of the offense explained below:
- A defendant can argue that he was not intoxicated at the time of the arrest. But this defense is hard to establish as juries and judges believe the testimony of the arresting office. As a defendant, your concrete evidence can be result of BAC test that you were not impaired during the mishap.
- A defendant can introduce an evidence to show that he was not causing a disturbance nor did any actual or potential harm to himself or others.
- Another defense was to show that the scenario was not in a public place, or that the defendant was involuntarily in a public place at the time of arrest.
- Prescription medication. One of the final defenses is that that at the time of the arrest, he was under the influence of a medication taken as directed and prescribed by a licensed physician
Your legal rights in a public intoxication charge
Some legal factors considered that you have committed public intoxication charge: (1) Have you been given the particular facts of your case has actually violated a city or state law? (2) Was the arrest made by the police or laws enforcement officer following the law? And (3) did your conduct constitute a criminal violation?
Public intoxication charges are not light issues to face and you must realize that in facing Philadelphia intox public charges time is of the essence.
Penalty for conviction: The outcome for those convicted of public intoxication will depend on how the state or municipality lf the behavior is considered as a medical condition or as a crime.
Public intoxication as a medical condition is not considered by most state as a crime. But enforcement officer if required to take offenders to a treatment facility or to the person’s home, or detain them until they are no longer intoxicated.
Majority of states considered public intoxication based on mandated public intoxication laws. It is considered as a misdemeanor, punishable by fines, jail time, probation, or community service.
In the state of Philly, public drunkenness is a stiff one; it is punishable by a fine of up to $500; however, for subsequent offenses, a fine can go as high as $1,000.
Face your charges: This accusation is not a light matter. Although intoxication charges in public is often considered a misdemeanor; but your best option is to consult an attorney. Being an expert in this kind of case, he can help defend you against these charges. Your legal provider can help you understand the charges filed against you, explain your best option, discuss possible defenses you may adopt and ultimately protect your rights.