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Arrested for Public Intoxication in Orange County?

What is a Drunk in Public Charge?

In California, Penal Code 647(f) is meant to punish people so drunk in public that they can't exercise care for their own safety or the safety of other people. The law isn't meant to punish people having a drink outside; it's specifically punishes people so drunk that they interfere with, obstruct, or prevent other people from using streets, sidewalks, or other public spaces.

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How is a Drunk in Public Charge Proven in Orange County?

To secure a conviction for drunk in public charges, the court will need to prove the following:

  • You were willfully under the influence (drunk doesn't mean just alcohol, someone under the influence of drugs or other controlled substances can also face charges)
  • While under the influence, you were in a public location
  • Your behavior under the influence was a danger to you or other people
  • Your behavior interfered with, obstructed, or prevented people from freely using a street, sidewalk, or any other public space

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"I was arrested for being drunk in public even though I was just hanging out with my friend. I called Fullerton criminal attorney Michael L. Guisti and told him I was just hanging out and wasn't causing any problems. Mr. Guisti got my case dismissed."

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Common Defenses for a Penal Code 647(f) Charge in OC

A skilled Orange County defense lawyer will be able to build a defense that gets your drunk in public charges lowered or dropped altogether. Here are the most common defenses used in these cases:

  • You weren't in public: if your behavior that led to an arrest happened inside your own home or a hotel room, you weren't in a public place and not guilty of being "drunk in public." The location of where your behavior is alleged to have happened matters a lot in these cases.
  • You weren't willfully under the influence: remember, the court has to prove that you WILLFULLY were under the influence; that is, you were drunk by choice. If you didn't know what you were drinking or someone slipped a drug into your drink, you aren't guilty of drunk in public charges.
  • Lack of probable cause: don't forget your Constitutional rights. If you were detained without having enough reason for your arrest, a strong Orange County public intoxication defense attorney will be able to get the case dismissed.

Call our Irvine defense lawyers today to discuss your case in a free case evaluation.

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Penalties in Orange County

In California, drunk in public is a misdemeanor offense. Here are the penalties that a Penal Code 647(f) conviction will bring:

  • Informal probation
  • Maximum 6 months in county jail
  • Maximum $1,000 fine

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Related Offenses to a Drunk in Public Conviction

  • Penal Code 415 - Disturbing the Peace: this offense is related to drunk in public charges because it involves conduct in a public place. These charges are usually related to drunk in public situations that involved fighting, being especially noisy in public, or using offensive words in public to provoke other people.
  • Penal Code 148(a)(1) - Resisting Arrest: these charges can be leveled depending on your behavior during a drunk in public arrest. Resisting arrest is charged if you're accused of resisting, obstructing, or delaying a police officer from doing their duties.

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Hire an Experienced OC Public Intoxication Defense Attorney

Law Office of Michael L. Guisti has defended many Orange County residents accused of drunk in public charges. We've been able to build strong defenses that get charges lowered or dropped for many clients over the years. Contact us at (714) 530-9690 or (888) 478-8999.

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Additional Information

Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

(714) 530-9690

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Client Reviews

“It was strongly recommended that I call federal defense attorney Michael L. Guisti. He had several investigators look at records and such, and my federal case was dismissed. Michael Guisti does what few attorneys can do, beat the federal government, and that is why if you’re in trouble with the government you need to call Michael Guisti right away!”

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“I had everything to lose, my future, my education. Basically I did something that got me a misdemeanor, and the judge wanted to give a guilty plea. But Michael Guisti would not back down. Instead he fought for me, and now my record is clean.”

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