People over 21 have the right to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages; but there are some limitations. While people are free to do what they want in their own homes, there are limitations on their behavior while in public. When it comes to the consumption of alcoholic beverages, state law makes it a crime to be intoxicated in public.
If you are facing charges related to intoxication in a public place, an Allen public intoxication lawyer could help you. They can explain the state’s public intoxication statute and explore what a prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction. A criminal defense attorney can then make the necessary arguments in court to create reasonable doubt that you were not a danger to yourself or others when you were arrested.
What Must a Prosecutor Prove to Win a Public Intoxication Case?
The Texas Public Intoxication law is meant to protect the community from an intoxicated person and the actions they may do while drunk. It is also meant to help protect the individual from putting themselves in danger in an intoxicated state. According to Texas Penal Code § 49.02, it is against the law for a person to appear in a public place while intoxicated to the extent that they threaten the safety of themselves or other people.
There can be confusion, however, when it comes to the definition of intoxication, because there is a definition of intoxication in the Penal Code. The definition of intoxication in Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) defines intoxicated as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties because of the consumption of alcohol. If a person has a blood/alcohol content of .08 percent or more. This definition, however, applies to DWI cases and not Public Intoxication charges.
Under the Public Intoxication statute, the question is whether a person is a threat to the safety of themselves or others. A person sitting on a park bench by themselves may be unlikely to be a source of danger. However, if a person is walking down the middle of the street, interfering with traffic in a busy neighborhood or getting aggressive with other people, an arrest for public intoxication is far more likely. An attorney in Allen is ready to provide more information about the state’s public intoxication statute.
Helping People Avoid the Penalties that May Accompany Public Intoxication
Public intoxication is a criminal offense. This means a conviction will create a criminal record and could have other consequences. In most examples, a public intoxication conviction is a class C misdemeanor. By state law, a conviction cannot result in more than a $500 fine.
Even so, if a person has a history of public intoxication convictions, the law may treat the offense more seriously. A defendant with three prior offenses within the past two years could see the case move forward as a class B misdemeanor. Convictions for a class B misdemeanor come with the possibility of up to 180 days in jail. A lawyer in Allen could provide a potent defense whether this is a person’s first public intoxication case or a subsequent allegation.
Let an Allen Public Intoxication Attorney Fight for You
Allegations of public intoxication may seem like minor matters. While a conviction in most cases results in no more than a fine, this will still create a publicly accessible criminal record. As a result, convictions could impact your chances of getting a job, finding a place to live, or having custody over a child.
An Allen public intoxication lawyer is ready to explain the state’s public intoxication laws and evaluate the evidence that led to an arrest. Using this information, they could build a defense that creates reasonable doubt concerning the prosecutor’s accusations and secure you a not guilty verdict. It may then be possible to expunge the records of your public intoxication charge. Speak with our team now to learn how our attorneys are ready to help you.