How to Get Out of a Public Intoxication Charge
In Texas, public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor. While the only penalty the charge carries is a fine, a conviction for public intoxication can have other consequences. Your ability to obtain housing or secure employment could be impacted if a background search turns up a conviction on your record. The good news is that a charge of public intoxication might not result in a conviction with the help of a skilled Texas public intoxication lawyer.
Under Texas law, public intoxication occurs when you appear in a public place while intoxicated, to the degree that you might endanger yourself or someone else. In other words, it is not enough to be intoxicated in public to face charges of public intoxication. Based on the language in the statute, there are a number of viable defenses in a public intoxication case. Three of the strongest defenses include:
Defense #1: You were not intoxicated
When it comes to defending against a charge of public intoxication, the first defense is that you were not intoxicated in the first place. If you were not administered a blood alcohol concentration test by law enforcement officers, you have a good chance of prevailing at trial. If your blood alcohol concentration reading was below the legal limit or even at zero, your odds are even better.
Defense #2: You were not a danger to anyone
The charge of public intoxication is not intended for someone that has had a few drinks. Not only must a person be intoxicated, they must be so intoxicated that they are a danger to themselves or someone else. At trial, the prosecutor must establish some sort of evidence that you were a threat. If you can establish that you were in full control of yourself and not putting anyone else at risk, you could have a viable defense.
Defense #3: You were not in public
The charge of public intoxication was designed exclusively to protect the public from injuries at the hands of an intoxicated person. For this reason, the statute only applies in public places. Because of that, a police officer lacks the authority to charge you with public intoxication if you are on your own private property. Despite that, these arrests occur regularly. At trial, if you can show that you were on your own property at the time of an arrest, you could have a strong defense against a public intoxication charge.
Contact a Public Intoxication Lawyer
The consequences of a public intoxication charge can be a hassle, but a conviction is never guaranteed. At the Peveto Law Office, we understand how valuable a clean criminal record can be. If you are ready to discuss your defense options with an established public intoxication lawyer, contact us right away to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation.