Public Intoxication Law in Texas
Intoxication is legally defined as having a breath or blood alcohol level of 0.08 or above, or having lost the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol, drugs, a controlled substance or an combination thereof. When someone is arrested for public intoxication, rarely are they offered a breath or blood test. Nor are the given any field sobriety tests. Without this evidence, the prosecutor’s case is usually weak.
Danger to Yourself or others
Being drunk in public is not a criminal offense unless you are a danger to yourself or others. This is not how the law is enforced by officers. Many times people are arrested without any evidence of them endangering themselves or others.
In Texas, any place where members of the public has access to is considered a public place. Courts have ruled a private drive way or one’s year is a public place.
Level of Offense
A public intoxication charge in Texas is a class C misdemeanor. A first offense is only punishable by a fine up to $500.00. However, this offense always creates an arrest record. Even though it is a low level offense, the arrest record for being drunk in public will always be there. Having this on you criminal record can be damaging to your reputation, effect employment, future job searches and can even be uses against you in future legal proceedings.
Do Not Plea to “Time Served!”
It is common for a person to be arrested for public intoxication and plea guilty to the offense before leaving jail – receiving “time served.” This means there is no punishment such as a fine. But, you are convicted! The individual is rarely admonished that the arrest record and charge will always be on their record. It is imperative to hire a criminal defense attorney immediately in this situation. Gary Redman has been successful many times in filing a motion for new trial and having the conviction for public intoxication set aside. Remember, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney familiar with handling public intoxication charges. If handled correctly, a defense attorney can usually obtain a resolution that involves having the arrest records expunged.
If you have been arrested in Dallas or the DFW area for public intoxication, contact Gary Redman as soon as you can and let him beginning planning the defense strategy to have the charge dismissed and your records expunged.
Contact Gary For A Free Consultation
Gary Redman is available for a no cost consultation for anyone seeking to hire a criminal defense attorney. To arrange for an appointment, Gary can be reached at 214-651-1121 or via email at Gary@GaryRedman.com