Thank you for your question. After reading my answer, please do not hesitate to reply if you have additional questions or need more information. If you have no questions, I ask that you click the ACCEPT button so that I am paid for my time. As I do this for a living, not a hobby, please honor and respect the honor code, and compensate me for my time as you would any other professional.
Here is the statute on disturbing the peace:
§103. Disturbing the peace
A. Disturbing the peace is the doing of any of the following in such manner as would foreseeably disturb or alarm the public:
(1) Engaging in a fistic encounter; or
(2) Addressing any offensive, derisive, or annoying words to any other person who is lawfully in any street, or other public place; or call him by any offensive or derisive name, or make any noise or exclamation in his presence and hearing with the intent to deride, offend, or annoy him, or to prevent him from pursuing his lawful business, occupation, or duty; or
(3) Appearing in an intoxicated condition; or
(4) Engaging in any act in a violent and tumultuous manner by any three or more persons; or
(5) Holding of an unlawful assembly; or
(6) Interruption of any lawful assembly of people; or
(7) Intentionally engaging in any act or any utterance, gesture, or display designed to disrupt a funeral, funeral home viewing, funeral procession, wake, memorial service, or burial of a deceased person.
(8) Intentionally blocking, impeding, inhibiting, or in any other manner obstructing or interfering with access into or from any building or parking lot of a building in which a funeral, wake, memorial service, or burial is being conducted, or any burial plot or the parking lot of the cemetery in which a funeral, wake, memorial service, or burial is being conducted.
B.(1) Whoever commits the crime of disturbing the peace shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than ninety days, or both.
(2) Whoever commits the crime of disturbing the peace as provided in Paragraphs (A)(7) and (8) of this Section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
As you can see, this is punishable by more than a fine. It is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail. That said, given that you have no prior record and that it is a minor charge, a guilty plea would likely result in just a fine, community service, etc. You wouldn't get jail for something like this. The court may even decide to withhold adjudication (withhold a finding of guilt) or offer you pre-trial diversion, basically, probation where if you complete the terms successfully they agree to later drop the charge.
Although it is a minor offense, because it is a misdeanor, I do suggest that you consult with a criminal lawyer in your area to disucss it further, even if you decide not to use a lawyer. Many lawyers will offer you a free or low cost consultation.
JUST ANSWER IS A "PAY FOR SERVICE". Please click on the ACCEPT BUTTON for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. No payment for my time and effort is made until you click accept (even if you put down a deposit or have a subscription). A BONUS TIP is also appreciated. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated! DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney. This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.
Appearing in public in an intoxicated condition would get your charged with disturbing the peace -it's really no better or worse, though in some parrishes, like in New Orleans, it is a municipal offense, and carries with it a possible maximum sentence of 6 months in jail!
You're actually the perfect candidate for pre-trial diversion if they offer it (it's up to the prosecutor and court to decide). You have no criminal record and this is a low-level, non violent offense. The program was actually created for people who have received minor charges and don't want a record.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).