Los Angeles Drunk in Public Defense Lawyers
Public intoxication in Los Angeles is a serious criminal offense, and a conviction can lead to severe monetary fines and other penalties – including possible jail time. If you recently incurred a criminal charge for public intoxication, you need an experienced attorney to fight for your legal interests, safeguard your constitutional rights, and obtain the best possible result in your criminal case – up to a complete case dismissal.
The experienced Los Angeles drunk in public defense lawyers at Chudnovsky Law can aggressively defend you against your pending criminal charge.
We can meet with you to learn more about your charge and arrest circumstances and formulate potential legal defenses. We can also negotiate with the state prosecutor and secure a favorable plea deal in your case. Our team will be in your corner every step of the way, zealously advocating for a fair result in your case.
You should immediately discuss your charges with a skilled Los Angeles drunk in public defense attorney. Contact our team—someone is ready to speak with you 24/7/365.
Why Choose Us for Legal Representation in Your Criminal Case?
A criminal charge for public intoxication can lead to severe penalties upon conviction. Therefore, you want the best possible legal team on your side every step of the way, advocating for you and pursuing the best possible result in your case.
The skilled Los Angeles public intoxication defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law have been successfully representing criminal defendants for many years. Our legal team has a combined 65+ years of experience obtaining favorable results for our clients.
Additionally, many of our team members were once state prosecutors. Consequently, we know how prosecutors build criminal cases and gather evidence, and we use that experience and knowledge to every client's advantage.
Unlike many criminal defense law firms, we are not afraid to take a case to a bench or jury trial in the courtroom. In fact, over the past 65 years, our lawyers have defended more than 9,000 cases in the criminal court system. We also maintain favorable working relationships with criminal court judges, state prosecutors, and others, and we use those relationships to achieve favorable results in our clients’ criminal matters.
Some of our team’s successes have appeared in:
- Los Angeles Times
- CBS News
- NBC News
- The Washington Post
- New York Daily News
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Our recent accolades include:
- 5 Star Rating on Lawyers.com
- 10.0 Superb Rating on AVVO
- 5-Star Rating on Findlaw
- 5-Star Peer-Reviewed on Martindale-Hubbell
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association
- Rated best criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles & Orange County by Expertise
- 5 Star Ratings on Google Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach
- 10.0 Lawyer Rating on Justia
Potential Penalties for a Public Intoxication Conviction in California
If the state prosecutor can fully satisfy their legal burden of proof, they can obtain a guilty finding or conviction against you in your criminal case. At that point, the matter will proceed to a sentencing hearing, where a criminal court judge may impose one or more penalties.
If the court convicts you for public intoxication, a judge may sentence you to a maximum of $1,000 in fines, a maximum of six months in the county jail, or both.
In addition, if you have prior convictions on your record or incurred additional criminal charges (such as for assault or vandalism), your potential penalties upon conviction may increase.
Additionally, you may face numerous collateral consequences upon conviction for public intoxication.
For example, you might have difficulty finding or keeping a job or gaining admission to an educational institution, such as a college or university.
Additionally, if you are a current student at one of these institutions, you may risk losing your scholarship money or financial aid. Finally, if you incur a guilty finding or conviction for public intoxication, you may suffer significant harm to your personal and professional reputation in the community.
Our legal team understands the potential legal penalties and collateral consequences that may come with a criminal conviction. We can aggressively represent you at your final sentencing hearing and argue for a sentence lower than the state prosecutor recommends in your case. Additionally, we can work to lessen or eliminate the collateral consequences you may experience due to your conviction.
What Is a Criminal Charge for Public Intoxication in California?
In California, drunkenness in public – or public intoxication – is against the law. If a state prosecutor can secure a conviction against the accused individual, they may face high monetary fines and even jail time in some circumstances.
According to Section 647(f) of the California Penal Code, it is against the law for an individual to be:
Found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance, or toluene, in a condition that they are unable to exercise care for their own safety or the safety of others, or because of being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.
For the prosecutor to successfully demonstrate that an individual is guilty of violating this Penal Code section, the prosecutor must satisfy several legal elements. Additionally, they must satisfy their legal burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
This is an extremely high standard for the prosecutor to establish. If they fail to satisfy even one legal element of the underlying offense, they cannot secure a conviction against the accused.
To demonstrate that an individual violated Section 647 of the Penal Code, the prosecutor must prove:
- The accused individual was willfully under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- While the individual was under the influence, they were present at a public location
- The accused individual was either unable to care for their own safety or the safety of someone else – or they obstructed a public sidewalk, street, or other area because they were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
If you face a criminal charge for public intoxication, our legal team can meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your arrest and your criminal charge. We can then formulate a defense strategy for your case. For example, we can raise one or more legal defenses in response to the charge or pursue plea deal negotiations with the prosecuting attorney handling your case.
Possible Legal Defenses to a Public Intoxication Charge
In a criminal case involving public intoxication, the state prosecutor has the sole legal burden of proof. In contrast, the accused individual does not need to satisfy any legal burden or even testify in their own defense if the matter goes to trial. Instead, the sole legal burden of proof rests with the state prosecutor handling the case.
Nevertheless, the accused can raise one or more legal defenses and introduce evidence to support their defense. A legal defense works to negate one or more elements of the pending criminal charge and potentially poke holes in the prosecutor's case. If a legal defense is successful and the judge or jury believes the defense, then the judge may dismiss your entire criminal case.
In response to a criminal charge of public intoxication, you can raise one or more defenses at your criminal court trial.
First, you can introduce evidence that shows that you were not, in fact, intoxicated while you were present in a public location. You can also defend that you did not present a danger to other people or yourself – or that you did not obstruct a sidewalk, public street, or public area.
Additionally, you can raise the defense that you were not willfully or intentionally intoxicated. For example, someone might have forced you to consume a certain amount of alcohol or might have drugged you. You can also defend that at the time of your arrest, you were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Finally, you can argue that the arresting police officer did not follow correct procedures, that they used an excessive amount of force when arresting you, or they committed one or more constitutional violations, such as violating your right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures or violating your right against self-incrimination.
Our legal team can determine if you might raise one or more of these legal defenses and can pursue a dismissal of your public intoxication charge.
Plea Deal Negotiations with the State Prosecutor
In addition to raising one or more legal defenses on your behalf at your criminal court trial, we can obtain a favorable plea deal from the state prosecutor or district attorney who is handling your case.
Our legal team has good working relationships with these individuals, and we regularly handle criminal cases in the state court system with the same prosecutors and district attorneys.
As part of a plea deal negotiation, the prosecutor might offer you one or more concessions in exchange for your pleading guilty to a particular criminal offense. For example, if you plead guilty to a criminal charge, the prosecutor might reduce the charge to a crime with lesser penalties.
Alternatively, the prosecutor might offer you probation – especially if you are a first-time criminal offender. If you complete your probationary terms, you may not have the black mark of a criminal conviction on your record.
Sometimes, accepting a plea deal is a favorable alternative to taking your case to a bench or jury trial. However, if you have one or more solid legal defenses that may result in an acquittal at trial, you might want to take your case to court.
Moreover, to accept a plea deal, you must waive certain legal and constitutional rights. First, by pleading guilty to a criminal charge, you waive your right to a court trial by a jury of your peers. Additionally, you waive your right to appeal the case result.
If you decide to accept a plea deal in your case, we can represent you at your legal hearings. On the record, you will indicate that you are pleading guilty to a criminal offense and doing so without coercion from anyone else. You must also say, on the record, that you are pleading guilty willingly, freely, and voluntarily. The presiding judge may then accept your plea deal.
What to Do After an Arrest for Public Intoxication
Following an arrest for public intoxication, invoke your right to the presence of legal counsel during any questioning. If the police officer begins to question you, politely refuse to answer those questions until your lawyer arrives.
In addition, retain copies of your charging documents and any potential evidence we can introduce as part of your defense.
Finally, speak with a Los Angeles drunk in public defense attorney as quickly as possible. At Chudnovsky Law, we can enter an appearance on your behalf immediately and pursue a favorable legal result in your case.
Contact a Los Angeles Drunk in Public Defense Attorney Today
One of the most important steps you can take after an arrest for public intoxication is seeking experienced legal counsel to represent you. If you wait too long to retain an attorney for legal representation, the attorney may not have enough time to speak with witnesses and prepare a defense in your case.
Additionally, if you show up to a courtroom proceeding – including your trial – without legal counsel present, a judge does not have to postpone your case. The judge might assume that you waived your right to legal counsel, and they can make you go forward with your case without an attorney.
At Chudnovsky Law, our lawyers can explain your legal options clearly and select the best course of action for your case.