According to Lloyd Gastwirth, a criminal defense lawyer, public intoxication is a crime where an individual is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol in a public location, and visibly disturbs the people within the vicinity. Public intoxication falls under both state and local law, and if an intoxicated individual violates both, they will be subject to the laws and penalties of both. But as with most crimes, public intoxication is much more complicated than just that.
• The Dynamics of Public Intoxication
– An individual can break the law if they are just intoxicated publicly, but the penalties will be much harsher if they have disturbed or inflicted injury on another person as a result of their intoxication.
– Something that should be noted here is that you don’t even have to be drunk or intoxicated, but you have to appear that you are. However, if it can be proven in court that the person accused of public intoxication was not drunk or high, then they can be delivered a lighter sentence. And it would be wise to look into getting a defense lawyer.
• Defending Public Intoxication
– If you are accused of public intoxication, there are quite a few defenses that you can bring up to challenge the prosecution. The first is that you were simply acting intoxicated and actually weren’t, which won’t get you a ‘get out of courthouse’ free card, but will still grant you a lighter sentence. Another defense that you can bring up is that your behavior was not caused by intoxication, but by something else such as excitement.
– For some people, they may have actually been intoxicated, and it can be proven. The best defense one could bring up then is that they were not intoxicated in a public place, but rather in a private location (or in an area of the city that allows public intoxication). They could also bring up that a police officer had brought them out into a public place where they charged them, but that’s definitely pulling hairs and should only be brought up if there is sufficient evidence and witnesses to back it up.
– Last but not least, if you have been charged with public intoxication, you would be wise to consult with a top criminal lawyer or a criminal defense attorney, and consider hiring them to inform you of both sides of the law and to adequately defend your position in court.