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Public Intoxication Questions

Public intoxication, also known as being "drunk and disorderly", occurs when a person is under the influence of alcohol in public. Generally, this is a misdemeanor charge. Public intoxication laws were put into effect as a means to remove people who are under the influence from the general public as a safety precaution.

There a few elements that a person must meet before being charged with public intoxication.

1. The person seems to be under the influence of alcohol
2. The person is drunk; and
3. The person is in a public setting.

In some states, in order to be convicted of public intoxication, the prosecutor must prove that a person was out of control, was unable to maintain themselves, and the person presented a threat to themselves and others. Below are a few of the more commonly asked public intoxication questions that have been answered by Experts.

If a person is arrested for Public Intoxication and later bailed out of jail, would this reflect on their record?

Generally, a public intoxication charge wouldn't show up on a background check if the search is for convictions only. However, most employers run background checks that reveal everything on a person's record. So, it is very possible that your arrest and the public intoxication charge would show up on a background check. Concerning employment, you are usually asked if you have been convicted of a felony.

I received public intoxication in Texas, but live in Florida. I would like to have it expunged in the future. What would be the best way to handle this?

The public intoxication charge will remain on your record for the rest of your life if you plead guilty or "no contest"(which is more or less a guilty plea). The only way to expunge your record in Texas is if you are found not guilty or if the charges were dismissed. You may be able to keep your record sealed from public access if you finished a deferred Adjudication Probation. To do this, you would have to motion the court for non-disclosure. At this point, the only way to avoid having the public intoxication charge on your record is to get a deferred adjudication or plead not guilty to the charge and hope to have a not guilty verdict or a dismissal.

I'm in Indianapolis and was charged with public intoxication. What kind of fines am I looking at?

Indiana law views public intoxication as a misdemeanor which results in a maximum punishment of up to $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail. Usually, on a first offense, a person can work out a deal with the prosecutor for a deferred sentence. This means a small fine of about $250, public service and maybe an alcohol abuse class. If you don't get arrested again, the charges will be dismissed and you can have the charge removed from your record. If you cannot come to an agreement with the prosecutor, you will need to hire an attorney to assist with lowering the fines and keeping the public intoxication charge off of your record. With a misdemeanor charge on your record, you may find it difficult finding a job or even renting a home.

I received public intoxication and underage drinking citations last week in PA, I have no court date and the citations do not specify the fine that I have to pay. What should I do?

The District court will notify you by mail if they plan to pursue the violations. The outcome will depend on which county you were cited in. In Pennsylvania, each county has its own law for the minor in possession offense. However, most of the counties will automatically have your license suspended once you are convicted. The MIP fines will usually run from $100-$250 on a first offense and up to $500 on a second offense. Once you receive notice from the District court, you may want an attorney to review the tickets and determine which court will be hearing the case. The attorney will then be able to determine the potential penalty.

I got a public intoxication charge and forgot about it. Now they have issued a warrant for me. What are my options?

The first thing you should do is contact the court and have a pretrial hearing set up. More than likely, the court will lift the warrant and you can resume with court. When you appear at court, you will enter a plea. If you plead not guilty, you need to tell the court that you will retain an attorney or that you need a public defender.

If you don't plan on hiring an attorney, you may want to contact the prosecutor and try to negotiate an agreement. If you come to an agreement with the prosecutor, it is possible that you may be able to resolve the issue at the first hearing.

Many people don't realize that they can be arrested if they walk out of their favorite restaurant after having a few drinks with friends. What seems harmless to the person is actually called public intoxication. The chances of being arrested for this act grow if the person is loud or acting in a manner which makes them appear intoxicated. If you have questions or concerns regarding public intoxication, you should ask an expert for assistance.
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