Cimasi Law Office

Did a night out lead to public intoxication charges?

When most people go out with their friends, they intend to have a good time. They may find a place to hang out, see a show, get a meal or have a few drinks. When it comes to drinking, you know that you should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol. However, even if you avoid that particular activity, you could still end up facing alcohol-related charges.

You may know that you and your friends have a penchant for getting a bit raucous on your nights out. However, you never set out with the intention of bothering other people or getting into trouble. You just want to have a good time. Still, even if it is not your goal to disturb others, it could happen.

Public intoxication

If someone feels that you are causing a disturbance and considers you visibly drunk, that person could alert the authorities. While being drunk itself is not necessarily a crime, acting in a disorderly manner could result in a charge for public intoxication. However, to be convicted of this allegation, the prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • You were in a public place.
  • You caused a disturbance or harmed another person.

In addition to these elements, the prosecution must also have evidence that you seemed unable to handle yourself due to your level of intoxication.

Further details on the elements

Simply bothering someone is not necessarily enough to bring about this charge. However, your behavior is an important aspect of your case. If you carried out disruptive behaviors, such as acting in a lewd way, using vulgar language or seeming out of control, those activities could prove bothersome enough to warrant a public intoxication charge.

The court will also need to look at whether you were in a public place at the time of the disturbance. It can be difficult to determine whether a particular location was public if the state does not have a specific definition in relation to this law.

Defending against allegations

You may feel that facing a criminal charge after a night out is just someone's way of blowing things out of proportion. Still, if formal charges come against you, you will need to handle them appropriately. Fortunately, you can explore your options for defending against such charges in efforts to find the path you feel most comfortable utilizing.

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