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Public intoxication is a crime that you can be penalized for, but only if there are certain elements present in your case. That's good, because if you can prove that any element is missing from the case, you may be able to have the charges dismissed.

This crime, also called being "drunk and disorderly," asserts that you're visibly drunk or being influenced by drugs in a public place. Normally this is a misdemeanor charge, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to have the penalties lowered or the case dismissed.

An officer can arrest you, and you can be charged with public intoxication if you seem to be intoxicated or drunk and are in public at the time. What kind of defense could help you?

You'll want to show that you weren't intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. If you can't do that, then show that the location wasn't public property. Since there is no single definition of what constitutes public property, your attorney can help you argue that you weren't on governmental land or in a public space.

Your attorney can also help you fight the case by showing that you weren't intoxicated or acting as if you were. For instance, maybe you were talking loudly because you were rehearsing for a play in which you are to play someone who is intoxicated.

There could be dozens of reasons for an officer to misinterpret your behaviors, and it's your right to correct his or her misconception of your actions. Your attorney can help you try to turn around this situation, so you face fewer or no penalties.

Source: FindLaw, "Public Intoxication," accessed Sep. 26, 2017

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