Public Intoxication - California PC 647(f)

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.]

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



Orange County DUI Attorney
Orange County DUI Lawyer
Best OC Lawyer
Orannge County Criminal Lawyer
Tustin Criminal Defense Attorney

Public Intoxication and What it means for you

Public Intoxication Penalties will vary. It usually ends in two ways. One is with a misdemeanor, one as an infraction, dismissal or not guilty. Almost all these cases involve drinking. People will drink and do things that are out of their character. Some of things will include urinating in public, assault and battery, disturbing the peace and DUI.

Public Intoxication is a very common charge. It is closely related to the DUI as it involves alcohol. Most of these charges stem from the border of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach around Triangle Square. There is a large amount of bars in this area. There are over 20 establishments serving alcohol on a weekend night. On any given night a person can consume a large amount of alcohol. In addition to this, a person may also lose some of their inhibitions and become agitated or annoying. This happens often and often times it will happen with police contact which can result in an arrest and charge for Newport Beach Public Intoxication. When there is police contact and alcohol most people will cooperate. However, often times person may get into a police officer’s face and be annoying. When this happens a person may be arrested for Public Intoxication. However there are two things that must be proven.

DUI and urinating in public are the most common crimes from Downtown Fullerton. However, there are also public intoxication cases. It is important to know the Penalties for these charges. These can be charged as misdemeanor or infractions. They are problematic charges because they have the potential to hinder someone’s job prospects.

Public Intoxication

There are elements which must be proven in a  Public Intoxication Charge.

In order to make the charge stick, the police have to prove that you were a danger to yourself and you were not able to take care of yourself. This is hard to do for them unless you were laid out flat on a sidewalk. 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. However, the easier for thing for an officer to do is just arrest someone to get them to shut up. Even being asleep in a cab and having cab driver call the police can get you in trouble.

What Qualifies as Public Intoxication in Fullerton?


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.

Consequences of a Public Intoxication


  • The consequences for a public intoxication can be anywhere from a fine to a misdemeanor charge on your criminal record. A misdemeanor on your criminal record doesn’t look good when you are looking for a job. Public Intoxication in is a very factual charge. You are the one in the best position to know whether you are able to take care of yourself or not.

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

2 Things You Need to Know About Your Public Intoxication - California PC 647(f)


Being Annoying is Not illegal

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

There are several things that must be proven in a Public Intoxication cahrge. Without going into too many details, the biggest one is that a person is not able to care for himself or herself. The state must prove this element. It is not enough if you were just annoying and rude to people. 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.

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.

The other element state must prove is that you were blocking some pathway or sidewalk. This is important because the statue says you must be blocking a public pathway.

For example, 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. If you are charged with a Public Intoxication then you must consult an attorney as soon as possible to make sure the charges don’t stick.

Recent Case Results -  A history of Success

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. 
  • Case Dismissed

Public Intoxication - Downtown Disney

  • Client took a crap in front of AMC theatre and left the country
  • Avoided jailtime

Talk to an attorney with a proven track record. 

The State Must Prove 



About Hieu Vu

Tustin Criminal Defense Attorney

SuperLawyers Rising Star 2016

Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. . Only %2.5 of Attorneys are selected to Rising Stars

SuperLawyers Rising Star 2015

The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.

Hire a Superlawyer for Your Case

The State Must Prove 

Tustin's Criminal Defense Attorney

Visit Us

Contact Us