Many people who have been arrested for being drunk in public or public intoxication fail to realize the severity of the crime. Just because drunk in public is considered a misdemeanor and carries only a $1000 fine, this is something that goes on your permanent record. The line is very fine and hazy when it comes to public intoxication, and a skilled attorney can often get the charges lessened or the entire case tossed.
Here are a few of the ways a Los Angeles drunk in public / public intoxication lawyer can dispute the charge and get the case dismissed;
Location You Were Arrested Wasn’t Public
Regardless how drunk you may have been, if you were in a private place, then you can not be arrested for public intoxication. Many aggressive officers who know the front yard of a property is considered public might assume this is the case with the back yard, and it is not. While the hallway in a hotel is public, the hotel room itself is private. So if your attorney can show that the officer found you in a private place but arrested you in a public place, the case must be dismissed.
The line is very fuzzy because while the police want to do their job and take care of a disruptive person, they can not arrest them for being drunk in public when they are actually in a private place.
Lack of Evidence of Intoxication
One of the ways that a good Los Angeles drunk in public / public intoxication lawyer will get the charges dismissed is by showing the court that the evidence of you being intoxicated was lacking. The job of the prosecution in this case is to show the court beyond a reasonable doubt that you engaged in certain behavior that meets the definition of being drunk and you were willfully intoxicated in any public place. This can be problematic to prove, and most of the time, the evidence simply doesn’t stand up. Although the arresting officer was doing his job to remove someone they assumed was drunk in public, there really was no basis for the arrest.
If the Los Angeles drunk in public / public intoxication lawyer can show the officer acted irrationally or aggressively, the case can be dismissed. This can be especially difficult to defend on your own, something the attorney representing you has decades experience with in this region.
Lacking Probable Cause
In an effort to make peace, the arresting officer might charge you with public intoxication even though they are lacking probable cause. If the officer violated your Constitutional rights, then your attorney can fight to get the case dismissed so it does not show on your permanent record moving forward. Examples of your rights being violated include the officer simply fabricating evidence to make the public intoxication arrest, the officer performed and illegal search, or you were detained without the officer witnessing you violate any laws.
If these are the case in your arrest, your attorney will ask the judge to grant a motion to suppress evidence to try and get the entire case dismissed.
The Informal Diversion Claim
In extreme cases, you may have been under the influence of illegal drugs and the officer simply assumed you were drunk in public. Even though you may be guilty of one charge, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the court for a deferred entry of judgement. This is considered to be a drug diversion program and in order to be successful, you can not have any prior record of drug abuse. If granted, you may be required to perform community service and attend drug treatment classes. Although you were causing a public disturbance, it was a result of the drugs and not solely alcohol.
If your Los Angeles drunk in public / public intoxication lawyer can get the judge to agree to drug treatment, and you wind up successfully completing the requirements laid out by the court, the case will eventually be dismissed and you will have no criminal record of the arrest.
Your Los Angeles drunk in public / public intoxication lawyer understands that since the line is hazy in these cases, even minimal evidence can prove you were not in violation of any laws.