Public intoxication can occur in Texas when a person is in public and is intoxicated to the point they become a danger to themselves or others. While many people simply pay the ticket and move on with their life, thinking that is the best option, doing so is an admission of guilt to a crime which can have a long-lasting impact on their life.
Any conviction on your permanent criminal record could cause problems with new employment opportunities or securing housing. Further, additional public intoxication convictions will result in harsher penalties. Call an experienced Frisco public intoxication lawyer for more information. A defense attorney is ready to review your case.
Public Intoxication Laws in Texas
Being out in public after a few alcoholic beverages is not illegal. However, if a police officer believes there is enough evidence for an arrest, they may charge the person with public intoxication, file charges, and place them in jail overnight.
Pursuant to Texas Penal Code § 49.02, any person appearing in public places under the influence of intoxicating substances causing a hazardous situation for themselves and others may be guilty of public intoxication. Public places include spaces where citizens gather in common areas and have access to, including roadways, shops, hospitals, schools, offices, apartment complexes, and bus, plane, or train stations.
Penalties for Public Intoxication
A first-time public intoxication conviction results in a fine of up to $500 and a Class C misdemeanor conviction on the person’s permanent criminal record. Habitual offenders with three or more public intoxication convictions within two years could face a class B misdemeanor punishable with up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Juvenile Public Intoxication
Individuals under 21 years old found guilty of public intoxication will face the same fines and penalties as adult offenders. However, the court may also order them to complete alcohol and drug awareness programs, community service, or order their driver’s license to be suspended. During the consultation, a public intoxication lawyer in Frisco can answer questions about the criminal statute. After reviewing your case, our team will review specific laws, potential penalties, and defenses.
Defense Against Public Intoxication Charges
There are a couple strategies a public intoxication lawyer may use in your case. Texas’s public intoxication law does not list a specific blood alcohol level—or BAC—to be considered intoxicated. Instead, the law requires the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the person was a danger to themselves or others because of their intoxication. Sometimes a prosecutor, judge, or the jury will consider the intoxicating substance was a medication the person was prescribed, and chose to mitigate the punishment.
As the statute does not require BAC tests, contesting the charges altogether may be the best option in some cases. A public intoxication lawyer in Frisco can speak to witnesses, review video footage, and collect all evidence to support the defense approach.
Schedule a Consultation With a Frisco Public Intoxication Attorney
An arrest for public intoxication may seem insignificant; however, it can have lasting consequences and cause many problems in your life. A seasoned Frisco public intoxication lawyer has the skills to take on any case, big or small.
After reviewing the case, we can help determine your unique situation’s best course of action and begin preparing a solid defense strategy. Our firm handles every case with the client’s best interest in mind. Reach out now to discuss your case.