How to Fight Your Drunk In Public Charge?

By Alex
November 8, 2022

You discover there are charges against you for being drunk in public, and this is your first offense. You have no idea how this happened. A drunk in public charge usually consists of either an alcohol or drug-related offense. Depending on the event that precipitated the arrest, you could be facing a minor disorderly conduct conviction involving only a citation or an extended term of community service work.

The Medlin Law Firm has many years of experience with defense attorneys fighting all types of drunk-in-public charges. Read to learn more about your drunk in-public charge and how to fight it. 

What’s a Public Drunk Charge?

The police have complete discretion over the charge; after evaluating you, they’ll charge you. When an officer has grounds to suspect that your intoxication poses a threat to you or anyone around you, they may choose to file charges.


For example,  If you’re so intoxicated and pass out in the street, you’re not only a danger to yourself and other drivers but also in the way. As a result, you can get arrested for being drunk in public.

In contrast, a charge of public drunk is rare if you walk home quietly after having a few beers. If you and your friends are playing loud drinking games in someone’s backyard, you shouldn’t get in trouble, but your friend might if they live in a neighborhood with a noise ordinance.

The fundamental evaluation depends on your level of intoxication and the specific stage of drunkenness. For instance, if your eyes are red or bloodshot, Is your speech clear, or do you slur? Do you have a strong alcoholic odor? 

They will judge you primarily based on your interactions with the police, and you will have no voice in the matter. If, after testing your blood alcohol level, they determine that you pose a threat, you’ll be facing charges regardless of the results of a breathalyzer. 

The police cannot arrest you if you are under the influence of drugs against your will or experiencing the unintended consequences of a medical condition or prescription. 

Consequences of Being Caught Drunk In Public?

A conviction for public intoxication carries the same potential repercussions as a driving under the influence accusation. A conviction on your record could make it challenging to find gainful employment in the future. If you are responsible for another person’s financial loss or physical injury, they may file a lawsuit against you. 

The legal system can impose a wide variety of repercussions. If a judge finds you guilty, you could get hefty fines and community service. Maybe even make you enter an alcohol and drug treatment center against your will. You risk jail time after the third or fourth crime, though sentences are often brief.

You should take the charges seriously, whether it’s your first or third time getting caught with alcohol in your system in public. You should prove your innocence with the correct lawyer.

How to Fight a Public Drunk Charge

A conviction for a public drunk charge means the court believes that you got intoxicated in a public place or in proximity to a public place. You’ll likely face a fine of $1000. The judge may also send you to jail for 180 days.

An attorney could employ various tactics to fight an accusation of public intoxication. They can be:

  • The defendant’s primary defense is to claim they were not too drunk to commit the crime.
  • A skilled legal team can negotiate with the district attorney to get the charges dropped for lack of evidence.
  • To argue that the defendant was not in a public location when the incident occurred. An attorney might employ this tactic if your arrest was near your home.
  • The lawyer may try to prove that the police officer who made the arrest didn’t follow standard operating procedures. However, this tactic is often unsuccessful since it comes down to the officer’s word versus yours.

Having a competent lawyer on your side is essential to any of these plans. There is no foolproof strategy for dealing with this allegation, as each case is different. Only a skilled attorney can evaluate the specifics of your case and prepare a defense for your needs.

No one wants to get arrested for being drunk in public. It’s unpleasant, can carry consequences for your job, and can lead to fines. However, you have a few defenses at your disposal if the police arrest you for being drunk in public. Of course, the best way to avoid such an arrest is to not get drunk in public.





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