Per California Penal Code § 647(f), people who are intoxicated in a public place and unable to care for their own safety or safety of others can be arrested for “disorderly conduct.” Additionally, anyone who obstructs the use of any public way, sidewalk or street can be arrested for disorderly conduct. This means if you fall asleep on the steps outside your apartment, you can be arrested for “public intoxication” because you were obstructing access to the apartment or sidewalk.
Being accused of being drunk in public may not seem a serious offense, but the consequences can have a negative impact on your life. You will need the assistance of an experienced attorney to avoid the consequences of a conviction. Being drunk in public can be penalized by up to $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail. Multiple convictions within a 12-month span can result in increased penalties, including a minimum 90-day jail sentence. A person under the age of 21 will face penalties that include a 1-year license suspension—even if driving was not involved.
San Francisco criminal lawyers at Okabe & Haushalter have a thorough understanding of the law concerning the disorderly conduct and are passionately dedicated to obtaining a successful outcome in every case. With years spent as prosecuting attorneys, we can identify and exploit any weaknesses/flaws in the prosecution’s case to benefit our client. With your future in mind, we work to get the charges against you dismissed or the penalties lessened. For example, we may be able to substitute things such as alternative sentencing, counseling, AA attendance, or alcohol education for jail time. You can depend upon an experienced criminal defense lawyer at our firm to give your case the individual attention you deserve. Contact us now for the help you need!