Drunk in Public

Virginia Public Intoxication Attorneys

Public intoxication, also known as drunk in public, charges are criminal offenses in the state of Virginia. Being drunk in public falls under VA. Code 18.2-388, which covers both swearing in public and being intoxicated by any substance like alcohol, narcotics, or other drugs.
In order for a drunk in public charge to be issued, prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused individual was intoxicated and that the incident took place in public. If charged with public intoxication, it is important that you understand the criteria for this offense: public and intoxication. An event occurs in public if it is in a place directly visible to the surrounding community. A person is considered drunk or intoxicated if he or she has consumed enough alcoholic beverages to noticeably change his or her speech, muscle movement, and general behavior. Although the exact definitions of these concepts vary slightly based on your locality within Virginia, this is considered a broad definition for the entire state.

Virginia Public Intoxication Penalties

Public intoxication or drunk in public is considered a class 4 misdemeanor. Public intoxication is a ticket offense in which the individual receives a fine, usually up to $250. If you are drunk in public, you can be considered a danger to yourself and others. In some cases, a police officer may choose to take you to a detoxification facility or place you in protective custody instead of issuing a charge to protect you and those around you.
A $250 fine and no jailtime may not seem like a heavy penalty, but it is important to note that by paying this fine, you are pleading guilty to the charge and will be convicted of a misdemeanor, which remains on your criminal record. If you believe there are grounds to fight your public intoxication charge, contact a lawyer before paying the fine for advice on your case.

Fighting a Public Intoxication Charge

Fighting a public intoxication or drunk in public charge is difficult but not impossible. Having a strong defense can lead to your fee being reduced or possibly even your charges being dismissed. You might be able to prove that you were not legally intoxicated or that wherever the incident took place was not out in the general public.
Whatever the circumstances of your case, if you’ve been charged with public intoxication and need legal advice or defense, it’s important that you hire the best legal defense possible. At Dua Law Firm, our lawyers will pour over every detail of your public intoxication case and organize the strongest defense they can. We are dedicated to protecting your legal rights and working to give you the most desirable outcome in court.
Call Raj Dua at (703) 382-7300 or email rdua@dualawfirm.com for a free consultation.

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