If arrested for public intoxication anywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and any and all of the surrounding areas, it can be a very unpleasant experience. If charged, the alcohol related offense can end up permanently on your record for the rest of your life. If the charge is on your record it can affect many things like affecting any future jobs, school admissions, renting an apartment, getting credit or even a loan. Once, you have been arrested for public intoxication, you want to be proactive and get a Dallas Attorney right away to defend your case.
Public intoxication Law: The State of Texas
When under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the state of Texas, a person may be charged with the offense of public intoxication. It may even include over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, illegal drugs or types of substances that impair your judgment. It is a defense to the prosecution for public intoxication that the alcohol or drugs were administered for therapeutic purposes and as part of the person's professional medical treatment by a licensed physician. It is important to know that mixing alcohol and prescription medications is contrary to most medical advice.
A person who is intoxicated to the degree that he/she is a danger to him/herself or another person then it would be a charge of public intoxication if arrested. If publicly intoxicated, it can make a person vulnerable to assault, robbery or assessable to other kinds of harm.
A person who is charged with public intoxication will usually be arrested and spend around 6-hours in jail. A law enforcement officer may give a citation and release the individual to the care of an adult who agrees to assume responsibility for the individual.
If arrested for public intoxication, the person will be required to post cash bail before he/she can be released from jail. Bail is the security given by an accused saying, which says he/she will appear in court to find out about their public intoxication charges. You want to make sure you consult with a Dallas Attorney as soon as you can.
The Law: Public intoxication Statute of Texas
Under Section 49.02 of the Texas Penal Code, the phrase "Public intoxication" legally is the following:
A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.
The definition of the word intoxicated is not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
An offense under this section is a Class C Misdemeanor. An individual adjudged guilty of a Class C misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00. However, for a minor, the punishment terms are in the same manner as if he committed the offense of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor.
Burden of Proof
Any person who is accused of public intoxication is presumed innocent and may not be convicted of an offense unless each element of the offense is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. A person who has been arrested, confined, or indicted for, or otherwise charged with a public intoxication offense will give rise to no inference of guilt at that their trial.
Different Plea Options for Public Intoxication
- Not Guilty Plea – A plea of not guilty can be entered, if you feel you are not guilty of public intoxication. Once the not guilty plea is entered, then your attorney will start to prepare for your defense at a bench or jury trial. The court clerk will issue subpoenas for any witnesses necessary for your defense. It is important to contact a Dallas Attorney right away to help you with your case.
- Guilty Plea – If a plea of guilty or plea of no contest is entered, the court clerk will be asked for an uncontested hearing with the judge regarding the issue of punishment. At the time of the hearing, your attorney will announce you to the judge and explain that you wish to avoid a public intoxication conviction on your record. That means, you will be requesting that the court grant you Deferred Adjudication.
- Deferred Adjudication – The judge may defer further proceedings without entering an adjudication of guilt, and place you on probation for a period not to exceed 180 days. At the end of the deferral period, if evidence will be presented that you complied with the requirements imposed by the Court; the judge shall dismiss the public intoxication complaint and note in the docket that there is not a final conviction. The arrest will still appear on your record.
No matter what the charge is, or what the circumstances of your case may be, The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder can helpy you contest your charges. Our office has helped numerous people with a variety of criminal offenses in a wide variety of areas all around the State of Texas. You can contact The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder at anytime for assistance at 214.702.CARL(2275) or at 469.2000.DWI(394). You can also e-mail Carl directly, at Carl@CederLaw.com; or to the office for general inquiries at Info@DFWDefenders.com. Phones should be answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week for immediate and prompt assistance. E-mail messages will try to be responded to with 24-48 hours, depending on whether Carl and his team is in trial and/or is busy working on a case for a contested hearing.