Legally, you are allowed to drink alcohol once you’ve reached the age of 21 in California. You may drink at your home and even while out in public. However, there are certain regulations on how you can behave after consuming alcohol.
You may be charged under California Penal Code Section 647(f): Drunk in Public if you fail to meet certain standards of behavior in Los Angeles. A conviction for being drunk in public could have a serious impact on the rest of your life.
Make sure you understand the severity of PC 647(f) by learning more about this charge. The Simmrin Law Group can offer you the support you need if you find yourself facing criminal charges for being drunk in public.
The Definition of PC 647(f) in Los Angeles
You may be accused of being drunk in public after consuming:
- Any Other Controlled Substances
You may also face criminal charges if you consume a combination of any of these substances. You should not be charged with being drunk in public merely for consuming alcohol or a drug. Instead, this charge should only come into play if you are either:
- Unable to Care for Your Safety or Another Person’s Safety, OR
- Obstructing, Preventing, or Interfering with the Free Use of Public Ways, Sidewalks, or Streets
Offenses Similar to PC 647(f): Drunk in Public
Drunkenness can be harshly punished in many situations in Los Angeles. If you are operating a vehicle while under the influence you could be charged with:
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a): Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol
- California Vehicle Code Section 23140: Under 21 DUI With Blood Alcohol Content Between 0.05-0.07 Percent
Depending on your location, you might also face criminal charges for:
All of these offenses can lead to serious legal repercussions. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you defend yourself from any accusations tied to drunken behavior.
Legal Repercussions for Drunk in Public
Penalties for being drunk in public can be very severe. The arresting officer may even place you in custody at a treatment facility for inebriates for a period of 72 hours. The court treats drunk in public charges as misdemeanors. Individuals who are convicted under PC 647(f): Drunk in Public may face:
- Fines of Up to $1,000
- Jail Time of Up to 6 Months
Note that the severity of your charges may increase if you are convicted of drunk in public more than 3 times in the course of 12 months.
Some individuals charged with drunk in public may be able to enter an alcohol treatment center. If you seek treatment, your jail sentence could be suspended by the court. Taking charge of your situation right away can increase the odds that your charges will be less severe.
Drunk in Public Defenses in Los Angeles
There are solid defenses if you are accused of being drunk in public. Your criminal defense lawyer may be able to build your case by arguing:
You Were Not in Public
You should not be convicted of drunk in public if you were in a private area while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Hotel rooms and personal homes are considered private places. However, some areas that seem private are defined as public locations under the law. You could be considered ‘in public’ if you are sitting in your car on a street, for example.
You Were Drugged
Individuals who became intoxicated involuntarily should not face a drunk in public conviction. Your lawyer may be able to argue that someone slipped something in your drink without your consent or knowledge.
Get Help Dealing with Drunk in Public Charges
California Penal Code Section 647(f): Drunk in Public is designed to protect individuals who are out in public. Charges for being drunk in public can be very difficult to handle on your own. The Simmrin Law Group has experience helping clients who are facing these charges. We can offer you the professional advice you need right now with a FREE consultation.
Let us start working on your defense for drunk in public charges by calling (310) 997- 4688 or filling out our online contact form.