Public intoxication is an alcohol-related crime that mainly involves being noticeably and visibly impaired due to excessive alcohol or drug consumption while in the public space. Being public intoxication as a crime, the intoxicated person should have surpassed the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. In addition, the person who is publicly intoxicated is generally promoting aggressive, violent and inappropriate behavior.
Public intoxication is also referred to as drunkenness in public. The charge of public intoxication can land you behind bars as it is a criminal execution, therefore, many state criminal laws define it differently. However, using profanity or drinking in public is enough to take you in hot waters.
Depending on the severity of your case, the maximum time that someone can spend after a public intoxication charge in jail is up to 30 days. However, if there are other criminal violence or brandishing weapon charges involved, some other charges can also be imposed, and based on the circumstances, there can be harsher penalties. No matter how many charges you are involved in after a public intoxication or public drunkenness, you have to contact a defense attorney and seek legal remedies immediately.
Profanity or Public intoxication
State laws regarding public intoxication vary according to the severity and the circumstances of the offense. In Mississippi, the offense of public intoxication is a universal citation and lies under Miss. Code Annotated 97-29-47. The law includes swearing words, profanity acts, or the use of cursing slogans in the public. Legally, you are not allowed to use profane words or language while being drunk in the public or in the presence of two or more two individuals.
If you are found guilty, you will face a fine of up to $100 and a month of jail time. Compared to many other alcohol-related crimes, drunkenness in public or public intoxication is not one of the big ones, but the charge can potentially impact your career and professional life. In addition to that, a possibility of facing other charges with public intoxication are also there. If you are found involved in a fight where someone called the police, you may be charged on the spot and these additional charges will make things worse.
Intoxication in public
As said, it is illegal to drink in public. Each state has made it unlawful to be found drunk in public. It may not always be the case that you get out of a bar or a nightclub drunk and get safely home without being arrested. Once you are found by a traffic police officer you will be charged with the DUI along with the public intoxication charges.
This is because oftentimes, public intoxication cases involve, accidents, run and hit, arguments, and altercations with other drunk individuals. Many times when the police are called by bystanders during a fight of some drunk individuals, even if you are not involved in the fight, you can be pulled into the situation just because you were drunk or the group with you was rowdy. Whatever be the case, it is important to provide clear details to your attorney about the situations that led you to arrest.
What constitutes the meaning of public intoxication in legal terms?
Legal charges and cases involving public intoxication or public drunkenness entail the meaning of public as the presence of two or more individuals at the time and spot of the offense.
For a public intoxication citation, it is important to have someone around otherwise, public intoxication charge cannot be imposed. This is because the public intoxication charge entails the disruptive behavior with other individuals present in the public at the moment when the alleged drunkenness citation was made. In short, for a public intoxication charge, the presence of the public is an essential factor.
How does a public intoxication occur?
Sometimes you never think of the places where public intoxication can happen. It can occur in bars, restaurants, and even in hotels. One can be charged with public intoxication charges in a variety of ways and after unusual circumstances. No matter if you just have an opened beer can in your car and driving even if you’re not drinking it, can potentially damage your day, a month or your records.
Penalties for public intoxication
The criminal penalties for public intoxication greatly depend on the circumstances, additional criminal executions, and state statutes. In Texas, the penalty of getting incarcerated is up to $500 and sometimes the consequences of a serious offense of public intoxication can bring even harsher penalties of a lifetime criminal record.
For instance, people often take public intoxication as a speeding ticket which is also a misdemeanor Class C offense. They sometimes consider the offense lightly without notifying an attorney and try to pay the traffic ticket charge and let go of the offense. This makes the offense sometimes more complex and intricate for an attorney to fight.
They don’t realize that leaving behind the conviction of public intoxication may bring some sort of delaying convictions that can bring the permanent conviction on their records.
A record of a potential arrest as a result of public intoxication would not appear like a good sign in front of the employers, educational institutions, and the agencies that provide professional licensing when it comes to making a background check. Also, nobody wants to show public intoxication charges during a recruitment process or in a job interview.
Additional charges associated with public intoxication
Every case of public intoxication is different and so are the associated charges. If you only get the public intoxication or public drunkenness charges, a charge of a month in jail and a fine based on your state statute will be imposed in the worst conditions. Unless there are additional charges and the situation in which you were arrested was complex, other misdemeanor or felony charges can be pressed along with jail time. A plethora of charges can also be imposed if someone got hurt or found dead on the spot. It would be common to have an additional PI charge with the DUI and other drunkenness charges when incidents like these are involved.
Fighting a public intoxication charge
It may become hard to believe that a charge of being intoxicated can result in criminal charges no matter if you are not involved in a fight or not even driving. Just like Athens where a public intoxication offense happens on a daily basis and a charge of PI remains in the criminal record for life.
While only a public intoxication charge is not a major crime but it entails a worth for fighting charges. Several potential defenses are there that are eligible to be fought by a defense attorney against your conviction. For instance, a defense attorney can bring evidence and witnesses to prove that you were not actually involved in the offense or was not drunk at the time of the incident and was not acting profane.
Hiring a defense attorney can help you get out of the situation where you can find yourself after a criminal charge. Either felony or misdemeanor, your charge can be completely dismissed.
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