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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13898
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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could I get a public intox charge if Im on the front porch

Customer Question

could I get a public intox charge if I'm on the front porch of my house?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your question. After reading my answer, please do not hesitate to reply if you have additional questions or need more information.


No, you cannot, because the statute provides that you must be in a "public" place (say, on the street in front of your house) or a private road or street car/vehicle to be guilty of the crime. Your porch is not one of these places, it is part of your home. Here is the statue:


Okla. Stat. tit. 37 § 8

In Oklahoma, it is unlawful to consume or be intoxicated by any intoxicating substance in any public place, or private road or in any street car or other passenger vehicle unless authorized by the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. It is also unlawful to be intoxicated and disturb the peace of any person.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I suppose to go to court on 15th of november, what will I need to do to plead innocent in this case?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

If the first court appearance is just the arraignment or reading of the charge against you, when they ask you how you plead, just say not guilty. The case will then be set for a later date.


As for proving the case, that burden is on the prosecutor -they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (a very high burden of proof) that you are guilty; you don't have to prove you are innocent.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
If I was arguing with my ex wife on the porch and the officer asked me to be quiet, could he arrest me for "public intox"?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.
I really don't see how, if you never left your porch. They may have been able to charge you with something like disorderly conduct for making loud noises or obsence language, but the statue on public intoxication is pretty clear that it involves being on a road or public place.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thank you Mr. Robert, you have made my day and the United States need more lawyers such as yourselfSmile hopefully the city of Altus Oklahoma judge will see it like you see it, if not, what would you do if you were me?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your kind words.


That's a tough call as to what I would do, because part of me would want to fight something that I didn't do and that doesn't even meet the statutory requirements for public intoxication.


On the other than, the maximum penalty for this if convicted is a fine up to $100, a maximum of 30 days in jail, or both a fine and jail time. Quite honestly, I don't see a court sentencing you to jail, especially if it's a first offense.


I don't know if I'd spend the money on a lawyer to fight this. You might just go to court and consider pleading no-contest and asking for a withhold of adjudication (withholding of guilt).


Of course, I always tell people it also never hurts to take the time to consult with a cirminal lawyer before your court date, Many offer low cost or even free consultations, and they may have a different opinion on how you should approach the matter.

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