Public Intoxication in Texas, commonly referred to as a PI charge, is generally a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine only, many people will still find a conviction for public intoxication damaging because they’ll be required to disclose it when applying for employment opportunities, professional licenses, college, and graduate programs. Fortunately, a skilled public intoxication lawyer can help in defending against a PI charge and keeping it off of your criminal record.
Public Intoxication Texas Penal Code Definition
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 Texas Public Intoxication
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, to ensure the best possible outcome for your case and protect your record.