With Labor Day just around the corner, many Americans are fortunate enough to have the day off from work. A number of these folks choose to spend their day off with family and friends as they celebrate closing out the summer. On this day and any other, it is important to maintain integrity, whether or not you choose to consume a few alcoholic beverages. A public intoxication charge would be a downer for anyone trying to enjoy the holiday weekend.
Defining Public Intoxication
Public Intoxication is a misdemeanor crime that a person is visibly drunk or under the influence of drugs in a public setting, and the law exists to prevent people from disturbing others and to remove people who could potentially hurt themselves or others. There are three basic elements that constitute a public intoxication charge. It must be proven that:
- The person was under the influence of drugs/alcohol/controlled substances.
- The person caused a disturbance or harm to someone else.
- The person was in a public setting.
It is important that, if you do plan to consume drugs or alcohol, that you be conscious of your behavior and actions, in order to stay out of trouble. There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun with friends, but it’s gone too far when you start to disturb the peace.
If you’re charged with public intoxication, there are ways to combat a conviction. These defenses must prove against the three elements listed above. Firstly, you can argue that you were not actually drunk or acting drunk. This can include an argument that your behavior was due to enthusiasm or excitement. Another defense is that you were not in a public place. The law requires that you were in public. If you were not in public, a key component of the three elements from above is missing. Additionally, if a police officer orders you to come out into a public place and proceeds to cite you for public intoxication, this is something that you can raise as a defense.
Get Proper Representation
Although it’s not the end of the world, a public intoxication charge can be a burden and will most definitely affect your life in the future. It is important to work with an attorney who understands the law, your rights and how to combat the charge. We at Catanzaro Law have experienced representatives who are determined to fight your case and defend your rights. It’s crucial that you work with someone who can properly represent you. If you have been charged with public intoxication, contact us today for a free consultation, and be confident with your defense.