Public Intoxication Law in Texas
Having a breath or blood alcohol level of 0.08 or above is legally considered as intoxication or losing the normal use of physical or mental faculties due to alcohol abuse, a control substance, drugs, or a combination thereof. Being unable to walk and talk in a normal way from the use of controlled substances or alcohol is considered as intoxication in Texas.
When you are busted for public intoxication, you will be offered a blood or breath test or any other sobriety tests. The prosecutor is usually not strong without this evidence.
Danger to Others or Yourself
Unless you are a danger to others or yourself, being drunk in public is not an offense; this is not the way the law is enforced by the officers. In many cases, people who are arrested usually do not have enough evidence of them endangering others or themselves.
Any place that the public has access to is considered a public place here in Texas. Court has ruled one’s year or a private driveway is a public place.
Public intoxication in Texas
You can be charged with public intoxication if you are in a public place and heavily intoxicated that you may endanger yourself or others, according to section 49.02 of the Texas Penal Code.
A public place includes a permitted or a likened premise under the Texas Alcohol Beverage Code, such as buildings and grounds, vehicle and any other relating to the grounds and any adjacent areas.
Criminal Penalties for public intoxication in Texas
Public intoxication is a Class C offense, which can attract a fine of up to $500.
If you have committed more than three public intoxication crimes or have been involved in a disorderly behavior offenses that have been committed within the prior 24 months of the recent case, you could end up being convicted for a Class B offense under Texas Penal Code 12.43. This kind of offense can land you a fine of up to $200 and/or a jail term of up to 180 days.
Juvenile Public Intoxication in Texas
A person who is under the age of 21 who is charged with public intoxication offense can be penalized with a conviction for a Class C offense for s first offense, which can also result to a fine of up to $500. The offense can be punishable to a fine between $250 and $2,000 and or a jail term of up to 180 days.
If the offender who is below the age of 21 is on differed nature for a public intoxication crime, they are asked to do the following:
- Finish their community hours for eight to twelve hours for a first offense or to 40 hours if they have been convicted of the same offense before.
- Join an awareness program for alcohol.
- Have their driver’s license suspended or denied issuance for 30 days if the person has never been convicted for the same offense before, 60 days for those who have been convicted once before, or 180 days if the person has been convicted on several occasions.
If there is evidence that the alcohol awareness program is not timely completed, or the completed program is not timely presented in court, the minor’s license could end up being suspended or be denied the license for up to six months.
The Need for a Public Intoxication Defense Attorney
A public intoxication offense should not be taken lightly. If you have found yourself in trouble of public intoxication, you will be required to contact a superior legal representation to make sure you get the very best outcome for your particular offense.
In addition, if you want to make sure that your public intoxication offense does not interfere with your employment opportunities now or in the long run, you should seek an experienced lawyer to help your charges to be dismissed. In this case, an attorney will assist you to maintain your clean record. However, it is very important to be aware that, expunging your record can be very tricky if you have been convicted before with criminal charges, but an attorney who is skilled could manage to clear your record entirely. Do not take chances. Get a lawyer in Texas.