If you have been charged with Public Intoxication in Orange County, you should contact The Atias Law Group, a criminal defense law firm in Orange County. People think of Public Intoxication as being “drunk in public”. However, Public Intoxication is more than just being drunk in public but rather requires an inability to exercise care for safety of oneself or others or some sort of interference of others use of streets, sidewalks or other public places. The relevant portion of the law that is applicable to Public Intoxication in Orange County is summarized below. However, the full text of the Public Intoxication laws in Orange County can be found in California Penal Code Sections 602. For a defendant to found guilty of Public Intoxication, the prosecution must prove any of the following acts occured;
- The defendant was willfully under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a controlled substance,
- The defendant was in a public place while being under the influence and,
- EITHER a) unable to exercise care for his own safety or the safety of others, or b) interfering with, obstructing, or preventing the free use of a street, sidewalk or other public path
Given the above, it is not enough to be drunk in public or even passed out drunk in public. There must be an overt act in furtherance of the intoxication. The Public Intoxication laws in Orange County can be confusing to a defendant charged with that crime. At The Atias Law Group, a criminal defense law firm in Orange County, we know the ins and outs of these particular criminal charges and we will work hard to get your case dismissed or lowered to a lesser offense.
Penalties for Public Intoxication in Orange County
Public Intoxication in California is a misdemeanor. The penalties associated with Public Intoxication include possible informal probation, up to 6 months in a county jail, and/or $1,000.00 fine. In addition, if one is convicted of drunk in public 3 times within a 12 month period, he/she faces a minimum of 90 days in county jail.
Defenses to Public Intoxication in Orange County
Our team of criminal defense attorneys know the defenses that may help get your Public Intoxication charges reduced or dismissed. There are a number of defenses to Public Intoxication in Orange County, however the applicability of those defenses depends on the facts of your case. One of those defenses is the act of being willfully under the influence. If one can show that they did not voluntarily ingest drugs or alcohol, he/she cannot be found guilty of being drunk in public. Another defense is that to be charged with Public Intoxication, one must be in an area outside a home in which others are free to walk. Public places includes but is not limited to stores, outside areas, various entertainment venues and even someone else’s front porch, driveway or front lawn. Also if you are found in a non-public place and then forced to go to a public place by police, one cannot be found guilty of public intoxication. Therefore, if police arrest one in a home, hotel room or other private place, there cannot be public intoxication regardless of how drunk one is.
Reduced Charges to Misdemeanor/Infraction Public Intoxication in Orange County
When the prosecution case is strong and they are pushing for a sentence of Public Intoxication, sometimes the best tactic is to try to work out a plea deal with the Prosecutor and reduce the charge to obtain a lesser sentence Public Intoxication. The criminal defense lawyers at The Atias Law Group will help navigate you to getting your Public Intoxication charge reduced to a lesser charge and perhaps even dismissed. Examples of these lesser charges include deferred entry of judgment or the drug diversion program. Pursuant to these options, one can perform community service or attend a drug treatment program and once successfully completed, get the case dismissed.
Public Intoxication Prior Convictions in Orange County
If you have prior convictions for Public Intoxication, then you may face increased penalties in your current Public Intoxication case. The Atias Law Group aggressively challenges any prior convictions. For instance, if your prior Public Intoxication conviction occurred more than 10 years ago, or if it occurred in another state, then we may be able to get those prior convictions stricken. If we can successfully strike your prior convictions, then you will only face 1st time Public Intoxication penalties. Contact The Atias Law Group today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your case. We will look at your personal history and the facts surrounding the charges against you, and then we can discuss possible outcomes with you at no cost.