California Penal Code 647(f) PC: Drunk in Public

In the state of California, penal law strictly prohibits being drunk in public. According to California Penal Code 647(f), a person whose level of intoxication makes him or her unable to care for their own safety or the safety of others can be subjected the criminal charges of public intoxication. The same is true of a person whose level of intoxication interferes with, or otherwise obstructs / prevents nearby persons from using public streets and sidewalks.

If you’ve been charged with “DIP,” “drunk and disorderly conduct,” being “under the influence in public,” or being “intoxicated in a public place,” you are now facing charges for public intoxication as defined by California state law. Public intoxication charges default to a very technical definition of the offense. Specifically, there are various nuances to an offense of this nature, and being charged with public intoxication relies upon the prosecution being able to prove the following:

  • The defendant was willfully under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • The defendant was unable to exercise caution and care for his / her own safety, as well as the safety of others
  • The defendant was in a public place at the time of his / her intoxication
  • The defendant’s level of intoxication directly interfered or obstructed public walkways

The Penalties of a Conviction

Defendants who are ultimately convicted of the public intoxication charges that have been placed upon them will be subjected to the penalties described in California Penal Code 647(f). This is a misdemeanor offense that could result in as many as six months in jail; summary probation (also referred to as informal probation); and up to $1000 in fines.

The penalties of a conviction for public intoxication intensify, however, when the offense is a defendant’s third within a 12-month period. In this case, the defendant will face a minimum of 90 days in county jail. Exceptions to this penalty are made for persons who alternatively spend 60 days in an alcohol treatment and recovery program.

San Jose Public Intoxication Defense Attorney Fighting Your Charges

For persons who have been accused of public intoxication, there are a number of legal techniques and approaches that can be applied in defense of your wellbeing. When you contact the law office of Edward N. Ajlouny for legal assistance, you will be under the professional representation of an experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyer whose methods are proven. During your first free consultation with the firm, I can review the logistics of your case in order to evaluate the circumstances under which the arrest was made. From there, we can work together to devise a plan of attack in regard to challenging the criminal accusations that have been made against you.

Among the defensive techniques that can be used on your behalf are challenges to the location of the supposed intoxication; challenges to the evidence being used to claim intoxication; and challenges to the probable cause being claimed in the case. These are crucial components to consider in any case of public intoxication, because the most minor detail could greatly sway the case in your favor. For example, an arrest that was made at home, or in the privacy of your hotel room, cannot result in charges for public intoxication because the location was technically not public.

Insufficient evidence can play a critical role in cases of this nature as well. Many law enforcement officers are conditioned to take action immediately, which could result in making an arrest for public intoxication when a person is nothing more than buzzed. If an arrest is made upon insufficient means, or if it is made with lack of probable cause, the charges that have been made against you can be effectively challenged. Therefore, it is crucial that your San Jose public intoxication defense attorney review the circumstances under which you were formally charged. If it can be proven that an illegal search was conducted, or detainment was made without the officer personally witnessing violation of the law, it can argued that evidence was fabricated against you.

Contact the firm today!

The hard-hitting tactics and effective results you’re looking for after being criminally charged for public intoxication can be found in abundance at the law office of Edward N. Ajlouny. Here, I will focus on helping build a case in your defense, paying particular attention to the nature of your charges and the way in which they were made. In this way, we can work together to build an aggressive, skillful defense on your behalf, and thus ensure that you stand the best chance of having your charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Contact my firm today for additional information.