These are the elements as laid out in California Penal Code 647f
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. However, this does not mean a person has to havea criminal record for a public intoxication charge on their permenant record.
In lots of my cases jail time is avoided if a person is under the influence of alcohol. In addtiion, the criminal offenses which can result in a criminal conviction is also dismissed. Public intoxication laws are tough for the prosecution to prove and my office does everything we can to avoid this misdemeanor offense and keep a clean a record.
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;
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.]
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Many excellent criminaI defense attorneys will tell you that it is not enough if you were just annoying and rude to people.
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, despite this they have an odor of alcohol so the a police officer may just consider them to be unable to care for themselves and make the arrest just because the person is annoying. Unlike a DUI, This will often happen with no test for blood alcohol concentration. This means that the police can arrest you without knowing your blood alcohol content. At the end of the day a person who is annoying can be mistaken for an intoxicated person and arrested.
A criminal defense attorney can help in this case. Especially if the reason for the arrest was because the person have failed the attitude test with the police. Criminal defense lawyers will bea ble to get access to the police report and check the facts against a list of common defenses to avoid the public intoxication conviction. In addtiion a seasoned criminal defense attorney will be able to get access to the body camera of the officer and check the facts against the video. When there is a contradiction which shows the officer lying this enough to get the charge dismissed. However, many charges will turn into a misdemeanor if left unchecked.
If a charge for misdemeanor turns into a conviction the it will hurt a person when they are looking for a job and other background checks thru criminal record checks. When a person is arrested for a public intoxication charge and later suffers a public intoxication conviction then they will have to answer that they have been convicted of a misdeameanor on the job applciation.
The Standard of Guilt for a Public Intoxication 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. Many disorderly conduct doesa invovles people who are just annoying because of drinking too much alcoholic beverages and are talking back with law enforcement officers. Ofen times these officers will arrest people with no field sobriety tests and just throw them into the drunk tank.
Often times the people who get arrested have a legal defense. However, you will not know that you have a strong defense or your constitutional rights have been violated unless you consult with an experienced lawyer.
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. The conduct has to have acutally taken place, seen by a police officer. When this happens a police officer will write down what happened in a police report and send it toa prosecutor to review.
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 to get arrested for a Public Intoxication.
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.
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
These are the elements as laid out in California Penal Code 647f
These are recent results that we have been able to obtain for our clients.
The State Must Prove