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What to Do If Charged with Public Intoxication

 Posted on April 18,2024 in Criminal Defense

Denton County criminal defense lawyerFacing charges of public intoxication can lead to an overwhelming experience filled with uncertainty. Make sure you understand your legal rights and the steps you need to take to get the best outcome possible. A Texas lawyer can assist you in understanding the potential consequences and advise you on the appropriate course of action if you face such charges.

What to Know About Public Intoxication

Under Texas Penal Code Section 49.02, public intoxication is defined as appearing in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that you may endanger yourself or others. Alcohol, drugs, or any other substance can cause intoxication. It is important to note that you do not need to be driving to be charged with public intoxication; when you are intoxicated in a public space, it is enough to warrant an arrest.

Potential Consequences of a Public Intoxication Charge

In Texas, public intoxication is usually a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. However, if you have prior convictions for public intoxication, the charges can be elevated to a Class B misdemeanor, which carries more severe penalties, including possible jail time and higher fines.

Beyond the legal consequences, a public intoxication charge can also negatively impact one's personal and professional life. It may appear on background checks, potentially affecting one's employment opportunities or housing options.

Steps to Take If Charged with Public Intoxication

If you find yourself facing a charge of public intoxication, take the following steps to protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences:

  • Remain calm and respectful: When interacting with law enforcement, maintain a peaceful and respectful demeanor. Avoid arguing or resisting arrest, as this can lead to additional charges.
  • Exercise your right to remain silent: You possess the right to remain silent and refrain from self-incrimination. Politely inform the officers that you wish to exercise this right and refrain from answering questions about the incident without an attorney present.
  • Gather evidence and witnesses: If possible, collect any evidence that may support your case, such as receipts showing how much you consumed or witness statements from individuals who can attest to your level of intoxication or behavior at the time of your arrest.
  • Attend all court appearances: Make sure to attend all scheduled court appearances and follow your attorney's guidance throughout the legal process. Failing to appear in court can result in additional charges and penalties.

Contact a Denton County, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with public intoxication requires prompt action to protect your rights and future. By understanding the law, determining the potential of your case, and working with a Cooke County, TX criminal defense attorney, you do not have to go through the process alone and can take some of the weight off your shoulders. Call Magaña & Van Dyke at 940-382-1976 for a free consultation with a team that is genuinely concerned about the outcome of your case.

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