Public intoxication charges are common in Texas, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. On any given night, hundreds of people in Dallas and the surrounding cities are arrested, taken to jail, and charged with the misdemeanor offense of public intoxication. Most people charged with public intoxication have no prior criminal record.
Public Intoxication Law
In Texas, public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor criminal offense. Section 49.02 of the Texas Penal Code states: “A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.”
Three separate elements must all be present: (1) You must be in a “public place,” (2) you must be “intoxicated,” and (3) your level of intoxication must be such that it may cause you to be a danger to yourself or to someone else.
Range of Punishment
If convicted of public intoxication, the punishment is a fine of up to $500.00 plus court costs. Under some circumstances, a public intoxication charge can be enhanced to a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.00.
More importantly, a conviction for public intoxication will be reported on your criminal history, and will cause you to have the dreaded “criminal record” that can be viewed by the public, employers, etc.
How is a Public Intoxication Charge Usually Resolved?
I have handled thousands of public intoxication cases, and in virtually every case I am able to negotiate a dismissal of the public intoxication charge with the prosecutor.
A dismissal means the public intoxication charge does not get reported on your criminal history and does not cause you to have a criminal record.
If you are facing a public intoxication charge in Texas, contact me today so I can discuss the facts of your case with you, answer any questions you have, and explain to you the tactical strategy I use every day to get public intoxication charges dismissed.