People accused of public intoxication often take a quick plea agreement when it may not be necessary. Public intoxication is a criminal offense, and it is a mistake to not treat it seriously. A careful examination of the facts of your case can lead to a qualified attorney concluding that a defense exists that may prevent your being convicted of this offense.
“Intoxicated” is a legal state defined by statute that the State needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. People far too frequently come to the conclusion that because they were, in their personal opinion, drunk that they have no defense. This is not true. Many police officers who arrest people for public intoxication do not collect any evidence outside of their subjective observations, which can be discredited at trial. Field sobriety tests are not performed, and even if a field breath test is administered, the only thing that this may be admissible to show is that you had, at some point, consumed alcohol. While it is illegal to be in public while drunk, it is not illegal to be in public after having consumed alcohol.
Many prosecutors treat public intoxication charges as “nuisance” charges and offer easy guilty pleas to make the cases go away. Your freedom is not a nuisance, and should not be treated in that manner. An easy guilty plea may make the case go away quickly, but it will also result in a permanent criminal conviction that will stay on your record forever.
If you have been charged with a public intoxication offense, contact my office to discuss the options available to you.