Philadelphia Public Intoxication Attorney
It is the duty of every adult that consumes alcohol to drink and behave responsibly in public. While there are certainly other offenses that are more serious than public intoxication, having an issue like this on your criminal record can still affect your personal and professional life. If you were charged with public intoxication, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia public intoxication attorney today.
The Law Offices of Lloyd Long understand how even a small infraction can drastically impact a person’s life, and we are here to fight for you. Criminal defense lawyer Lloyd Long possesses extensive experience litigating complex criminal cases, and he would be honored to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, contact The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.
Pennsylvania Public Intoxication Law
Public intoxication, also referred to as public drunkenness, is an offense that occurs when a person shows signs of visible intoxication in public. While public intoxication is usually linked to the overconsumption of alcohol, it is also possible to violate public intoxication laws by using drugs in public.
There are a number of actions that could lead to a person being arrested or cited for public drunkenness:
- Inability to walk a straight line or without stumbling
- Emitting an overwhelming odor of alcohol
- Falling asleep on public property like the sidewalk or in a park
- Vomiting or urinating in public
It is important to note that an offense for public drunkenness can quickly be upgraded to another type of offense depending on the circumstances. For example, attempting to drive while intoxicated can lead to the upgraded offense of driving under the influence (DUI).
Penalties for Public Drunkenness
In Pennsylvania, public drunkenness is considered a summary offense. A summary offense is the least serious grade of offense for crimes in Pennsylvania. This means that public drunkenness is on par with other offenses like traffic violations and disorderly conduct.
If a defendant is convicted of a summary offense in Pennsylvania, they are subject to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. However, it is unlikely that a defendant would be sentenced to serve a full sentence for public drunkenness. It is more likely that a defendant would be issued a citation to pay a fine. Additionally, subsequent violations of the public drunkenness law can result in a $1,000 fine.
If you receive a citation for public intoxication, you only have a very limited amount of time to decide your course of action. A citation for public intoxication will typically give a defendant about 10 days to determine how they want to respond. One option is to simply pay the fine for the citation. However, paying the fine will also operate as a guilty plea, and the offense will be visible on your criminal record.
Another option is to request a hearing to defend yourself. It is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible if you decide to fight your case. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long can help you prepare to defend yourself against criminal charges for public intoxication.
Expunging an Offense for Public Intoxication
While public intoxication is a summary offense that is typically punished with a fine, a summary offense can still cause problems for a person in their search for employment and even housing. Fortunately, it is possible to expunge an offense for public intoxication from your criminal record.
To be eligible for the expungement of a summary offense, an individual must avoid being arrested for a crime for at least five years after the conviction or guilty plea. It is important to note that the expungement of an offense is not an automatic process. Instead, a person must initiate proceedings to request an expungement.
After submitting a request for an expungement, the matter will be determined by a judge and a district attorney. You should be aware that the expungement process could be challenged by a district attorney. When this happens, the issue will have to be decided by the judge.
If you would to fight a public drunkenness case or seek expungement of the offense, our firm can help you determine the appropriate steps to take. Our lawyers are well-versed in expungement laws in Pennsylvania and can assist in clearing your criminal record.
Contact an Experienced Philadelphia Public Intoxication Defense Lawyer Today
If you or a family member was arrested for public intoxication, consult with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long is devoted to providing our clients with the legal representation they deserve. We avoid taking a large volume of cases to ensure that we give every client’s case the attention it needs. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.