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Public intoxication and what it means for you

Public intoxication is a crime that you can be accused of mistakenly, particularly if you are ill or have side effects from medications that make you appear intoxicated. If you're accused of being publicly intoxicated, your attorney can help you defend yourself by making sure your side of the story is heard and that your rights aren't infringed upon.

Public intoxication laws are in place to make sure people don't disturb others in public places. The laws help police remove dangerous people who are a threat to themselves or others from public. When police make a public intoxication arrest, all they have to do is show that you appeared to be intoxicated and that you're in public.

Some states do require the prosecution to prove that you were out of control to the point where you couldn't take care of yourself. They may also need to show that you were dangerous to others or yourself before you can be convicted of a crime. The way you acted when you were approached by police will make a difference in your case.

Here's an example. If you walk out of a bar drunk and threaten police, it's likely you'll be arrested for public intoxication. However, if you're walking out and are just a bit tipsy going to a vehicle where someone else is driving you home, it's unlikely police will pursue a charge as long as you are polite and seem in control of your behavior.

Regardless of the situation, you need to make sure you defend yourself. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you.

Source: FindLaw, "Public Intoxication," accessed Aug. 23, 2016

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