Denton, TX Public Intoxication Lawyer
Defending against Public Intoxication and Other Alcohol-Related Charges
As long as you are age 21 or older and not subject to certain court orders, it is not against the law to have a few drinks and then walk around town. The law regarding public intoxication does not criminalize being drunk in public, but it does criminalize being intoxicated in public at a level where they pose a threat of danger to themselves or others.
Police officers make the subjective decision whether you might endanger people due to your drunkenness, which can lead to many unjustified arrests and charges of public intoxication. This charge is especially common around college campuses, since college students may have some drinks and roughhouse or be loud on the way home, drawing the attention of law enforcement. If you have been accused of the crime of public intoxication in the Denton area, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Elements of Public Intoxication
To be convicted of this offense, the prosecutor must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You were intoxicated, which can mean having a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08 percent or showing signs of alcohol impairment
- You were in a public place, which can include anywhere the public can access. Common places are parks, sidewalks, streets, arenas, common areas of schools or hospitals, and establishments that serve alcohol (even though they are private businesses).
- You may present a danger to yourself or others, though there are no objective criteria that demonstrate this element. You also do not have to present an immediate threat, as it is enough that the officer decides you might pose a threat in the future due to your intoxication.
The elements of this charge are often largely based on the arresting officer’s alleged observations and discretion.
Possible Penalties for Public Intoxication
In Texas, public intoxication is a misdemeanor offense and can result in a fine of $500. However, in many situations, this type of arrest may also lead to further charges, such as drug possession if arresting officers find illegal drugs on your person upon your arrest. You can also face consequences at your college or university if you are convicted of public intoxication, as it might be in violation of your school’s alcohol policies.
There are many ways to challenge a police officer’s assertions and defend against a public intoxication conviction. Never ignore this type of charge – instead, contact a knowledgeable defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Discuss Your Case with a Denton Public Intoxication Attorney Right Away
Police officers in Denton often jump the gun when it comes to arrests for public intoxication. You should not accept wrongful charges, and you should contact the office of Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, for help. Call 940-222-2488 or contact us online to learn the many ways a criminal defense attorney can help with your public intoxication case.