Relaxing a little bit after work or on the weekend by having a few drinks is not illegal in Virginia. However, when your activities in private spill into the public view, this can become a crime. Virginia laws make being drunk in public a misdemeanor offense that could result in jail time or fines. At Randall Page, P.C., our team is standing by when you need a public intoxication defense attorney. We have a thorough understanding of the laws in Virginia, and we are ready to stand by your side to formulate a solid defense on your behalf. Our goal is to get these charges reduced or dismissed altogether so you can get back to living your life.
Public intoxication charges are not simply tickets in Virginia – these are criminal offenses. When we turn to Virginia code section 18.2-388, we can see that the law states that if any person is intoxicated in public, whether they are intoxicated by alcohol, a narcotic, or some other kind of intoxicant, they are committing a Class 4 misdemeanor offense.
In these cases, prosecutors have two essential elements to prove before a person can be convicted:
The Commonwealth of Virginia courts have defined the meaning of “public” in these cases to mean somewhere that is in open view and visible to the community. This can even include an outdoor area owned by a person being charged with public intoxication that is visible to others, including a front yard or front porch.
Virginia considers a person intoxicated if they have had enough to drink or taken enough of an intoxicant to observably affect their manner, speech, muscular movement, disposition, general appearance, or behavior.
A person convicted of public intoxication in Virginia could face a fine of up to $250.
A major problem with public intoxication/drunk in public charges is that they are criminal offenses that can be applied very liberally. Often, law enforcement officials use them as a “catch-all” charge when they have no other reason to actually arrest somebody. This means that a person could face a misdemeanor offense regardless of whether or not they were causing any kind of harm to another person. That is why the Virginia public intoxication attorneys at Randall Page, P.C. work so hard to defend people facing these charges.
If you or somebody you care about is facing charges of public intoxication, you need to speak to a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At Randall Page, P.C., our team is going to investigate every aspect of the charges that have been levied against you. Our goal is to get these charges reduced or dismissed. Please do not be lulled into the fact that this is only a misdemeanor charge. Drunk in public charges in Virginia can present serious setbacks for those who are convicted. When you need a Virginia public intoxication attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 757-517-8956.