These are the elements as laid out in California Penal Code 647f

Why you should Hire a  Public Intoxication Lawyer  and Recent Results  

Discuss Your Case with an Orange County Public Intoxication Attorney Right Away

My services are routinely used by people in Orange County accused of Public Intoxication Penal Code 647(f) by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Most of my cases come from areas in Orange county in cities where there is a large amount of bars. I know on any given night a good person can consume a large amount of alcohol at the local bars and have a bad evening resulting in an encounter with a police officer which results in criminal charges and a night in jail. This happens often but it does not have to end with a public intoxication conviction in court.

Public Intoxication Lawyer

 California PC 647(f) - What does it Mean?

What does the State Must Prove?

State Must Prove Both 1 and 2

  • 1] You were willfully under the influence of (alcohol[,]/ [and/or] a drug[,]/ [and/or] a controlled substance[,]/ [and/or] toluene);
  • 2]When you were under the influence, you were in a public place;

Either 3A or 3B

  • 3A. You were unable to exercise care for your own safety [or the safety of others].]
  • 3B. Because you were under the influence, (he/she) interfered with, obstructed, or prevented the free use of a street, sidewalk, or other public way.]

How to Defend Against a Public Intoxication Charge. 

Can drunk in public be dismissed?

Yes. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt for a criminal conviction in a trial for public intoxication charge or any misdemeanor crime. However without proving their case the prosecution would not be able to impose community service or jail time.

It is not ok to stick a person with a guilty plea and give them a negative consequences of a criminal history because they were over the legal limit and failed a few field sobreity test or had some illegal drugs in their system.

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer if Charged with Public Intoxication

A lawyer will get the prosecutions police report and all availible audio and video of the incident of the case against you from the police department. 

A Public Intoxication lawyer makes it harder for the state to prove a case against you. Often times police officers arrest people just because they are annoying. Annoying a police officer is not a crime. A dismissal can be won in court court thru a trial and a misdemeanor can be avoided if handled properly

By setting the standard this high and forcing the prosecution to overcome the difference circumtances which explain the field sobriety test and odor of alcohol, we force a plea deal where there is dismissal. The dimissal could be in exchange for community service hours or some kind of alcohol awareness program

An advocate will paint the picture that the Officer made a Hasty Decision to Arrest.

In addition a good lawyer will put together a picture that paints the picture that takes your circumstances into consideration and get you a dimisssal so you do not have to answer that you have been convicted on a background check.

The defense strategy against the prosecution is to put the law enforcement officer on the stand and put him on cross examination. In addition to having him on the stand to testify, we would his report and video body camera. Video body camera presents a problem to the officer and prosecution because it shows another side of the story then the police report which is dictated by he officer.

Often times the video will show the absence of slurred speech and unsteady gait. Furthermore, the unable to care for oneself element was just a bad attitude by college students being under the influence of alcohol with suspect circumstances.

The prosecution is left with a case with a minor offense on private property. Even with bloodshot eyes and a defenddnt being under the influence of alcohol. This is good enough for a DUI but not for a disorderly conduct offenses.

Defenses to Public Intoxication in Orange County

Most of the time a person is rowdy because of alcohol and causing a disturbance and this does not mean they are so intoxicated that they will not be able to care for them self.

There is no Objective standard or threshold for intoxication

In addition to this there are no Objective Standard for Public Intoxication and the offesne must take place on public property. Unlike other offenses where there is an objective number at play such as  blood alcohol concentration derived from blood tests or even a pseudo test such as field sobreity test, here there is no such standard.  In deleveloping a public intoxication defense strategy we want to make them prove that the  physical faculties was so gone that our cleint needed medical treatment. 

Being Obnoxious is Not illegal

It is not enough if you were just annoying and rude to people.

Being Annoying is Not illegal

Unfortunately, police are very liberal as to what they deem as public intoxication. Sometimes a person may not be intoxicated enough to meet the Public Intoxication in California. However, they may have failed the attitude test with the police. This is enough to get the charge. Many charges will turn into a misdemeanor if left unchecked. These misdemeanor will hurt a person when they are looking for a job. 

The Standard of Guilt is not Being Able to Care for Yourself. 

You have to be so incapacitated by alcohol that you can no longer care for yourself. This is not the case in a lot of situations. In a lot of situation people are arrested for what they could have done. However, you can not be prosecuted for what you could have done.

Its Easier to Arrest For Public Intoxication than Manage. 

However, often times a person police officer will be annoyed by a drunk person and arrest the person for public intoxication. This is not a Public Intoxication. It is public annoyance by a drunk person, but that is not illegal. You are free to be annoying as you want but that doesn't mean you should be arrested.

If You are Not a Danger to yourself then you must be blocking a public walkway

If you were inside a bar then you would not be guilty of public intoxication. Furthermore, the state will have to prove that you were blocking access to the street or sidewalk. For example, if you were passed out on the ground and you were not able to move and you were blocking people's pathway then you would meet this requirement. However, if you are merely being confrontational with other people then you do not meet this prong for Public Intoxication. 

Penalties for Public Intoxication in Orange County 647(f)

  • Public Intoxication Penalties will vary. It usually ends in a few ways. Either as a misdemeanor offense on  the criminal hisotry , as an infraction, a dismissal or not guilty. Almost all these cases will not any days in jail if this is your first offense. Additional punishment or terms of agreement  may include having to do a sunstance abuse class because it is a alcohol related offense. 

    At the end of the day People will drink and do things that are out of their characte however one night of drinking should not affect a peson's professional license and leave them with a public record that stains their chances with potential employers on back ground checks

Avoid the Misdemeanor on your record The State Must Prove

Public Intoxication is a hard charge for the state to prove. Often times police officers arrest people just because they are annoying.  Annoying a police officer is not a crime. A dismissal can be won in court court and a misdemeanor can be avoided jif handled properly

Chart illustrating what the state must prove to make their case

These are the elements as laid out in California Penal Code 647f

Public Inoxication Lawyer's Recent Case Results

These are recent results that we have been able to obtain for our clients.  

Law Student Passed Out

  • Dropped off by taxi and didnot know where she was going
  • Charges Dismissed

Passed out on Beach Blvd Divider

  • Sleeping on Divider
  • Charges Dismissed

Knocked on Wrong House

  • Client knocked on wrong house in Newport Beach and tried to enter house. 
  • Charges Dismissed


Passed out in Huntington Beach Main Street. 

  • Client had too much too drink and couldn't identify himself.
  • Charges Dismissed
  • Client took a crap in front of AMC theatre and left the country
  • Avoided jailtime
Talk to a Public Intoxication Lawyer  with a proven track record.

The State Must Prove