While the offense of public intoxication is generally charged as a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine only, many people will still find a conviction for public intoxication damaging because it will often have to be disclosed when applying for employment opportunities, professional licenses, college, and graduate programs. Fortunately, a skilled criminal defense attorney can often be successful in defending against a public intoxication charge and keeping the charge off of your criminal record.
Definition of Public Intoxication in Collin County, Texas
In Texas, a person commits public intoxication if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another. For the purposes of this offense, a place of business that is licensed or permitted under the Alcoholic Beverage Code, such as a bar or tavern, is a public place.
Defending Against Public Intoxication in Collin County, Texas
Unfortunately, police officers do not usually encounter too much difficulty in establishing probably cause to make an arrest for public intoxication because an officer is authorized to make an arrest when a person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger themselves or others. Therefore, police officers enjoy very broad discretion in making an arrest for public intoxication.
Fortunately, the State often has an equally difficult time in making a public intoxication charge hold up in court. A careful reading of the public intoxication statute reveals that it is not illegal to be intoxicated in a public place unless you pose a danger to yourself or others. Many police officers make an arrest for public intoxication merely because a person is in a public place and they exhibit behavior which leads the officer to assume that the person is intoxicated. If you have been charged with public intoxication, don’t just pay the fine and let the charge stain your criminal record. Contact Mark O’Bryan, an aggressive criminal defense attorney, to ensure the police did not unlawfully arrest you and to achieve the best possible outcome in resolving the charges against you.