California Penal Code 647(f) PC
PC 647(f) – Drunk in Public
Drunk in Public – Table of Contents
California Drunk in public, Penal Code 647(f) encompasses two crimes:
- You’re too drunk to exercise care for your safety or the safety of others
- You obstruct or prevent others from public ways because of your intoxication
California Drunk in public, Penal Code 647(f) is a misdemeanor and if convicted you could face:
- Up to six (6) months in county jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Combination of the two previous penalties
- Or, summary/informal probation
Being California drunk in public, Penal Code 647(f) does not necessarily qualify you for a California drunk in public, Penal Code 647(f) conviction. The law requires that you fulfill the three elements of the crime for a conviction:
- You were willfully under the influence
- Willfully means deliberately, in other words, you chose to get intoxicated
- You were in a public place
- A public place is anyplace other than a private home, apartment, or building on someone’s property
- You were not able to take care of yourself or the safety of others
- Or, you interfered with, or prevented people from using the street, sidewalk, or any public path
If you are found to be extremely intoxicated and cannot take care of yourself the police have the option of detaining you for your own safety, this is known as civil protective custody. If the police place you under civil protective custody they have the right to hold you for up to 72-hours. At that point the police can use their own discretion in deciding to press charges or not.
This option can only be utilized if the police believe that you are intoxicated. If they think that you are under the influence of a controlled substance than they have to press California drunk in public, Penal Code 647(f) charges.
It’s important to note that not all cities will place people under civil protective custody because they don’t have the facility. If the facility is not available then you will have to be placed in custody of California drunk in public, Penal Code 647(f).
Having a public intoxication conviction on your record can be detrimental when seeking employment and will stay on your criminal record forever. With that being said, a talented criminal defense attorney can utilize certain techniques to have the case dismissed, resulting in a a clean criminal record for you.
One technique your attorney can exercise is to show that the arrest was unlawful because it took place at a private residence. The law makes it very clear that the offense must occur in public, if it occurred in a private home, apartment, or a structure on someone’s property then there should not be a conviction.
In a lot of public intoxication cases there is not enough evidence to warrant a conviction. If a prosecutor cannot prove that you were not willfully intoxicated to the level defined by the law then a conviction should not take place. The law clearly states that you must be voluntarily intoxicated to a point where you cannot take care of yourself or the others around you. If a criminal defense attorney can prove that there is insufficient proof then there should not be a conviction.
These are just two of the techniques that a skilled criminal defense attorney can point out to the court to make sure you aren’t convicted of California drunk in public, Penal Code 647(f). If you have recently been arrested for public intoxication and are concerned about your future then it’s important to contact an attorney immediately.
California drunk in public, Penal Code 647(f) can be expunged if you have successfully completed your probation term. For more information read about the expungement process here.
If you or a loved one is being charged with California Drunk in Public, Penal Code 647(f) we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office located in Century City, or by phone. Our experienced and assiduous Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.
Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529
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