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Explore Our Drunk In Public Penal Code § 647f


Penal Code Section 647(f) is known as being “drunk in public” (or the “public intoxication” law).

Drunk In Public Charges - Penal Code 647 F

That said, simply being drunk in a public place is not a crime.  To violate this law, the prosecution must prove that you were so intoxicated that you:

  •  Are unable to exercise care for your safety or the safety of others.
  •  Interfere with, obstruct, or prevent others from using streets, sidewalks, or other “public ways.”

If you are simply very drunk in a public place, but neither of the above things is true, you are not guilty of this offense.

How Serious is a Public Intoxication Charge in California?

A person who is under the influence of a controlled substance in a public place will be subject to California's Public Intoxication law, as he or she will not be able to take care of themselves or others. A person under the influence of a controlled substance may also interfere with, obstruct, or prevent the use of a public path or street.  

The crime of public intoxication is classified as a misdemeanor. A conviction can result in six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

According to CPC 647(f), you are guilty of Public Intoxication if:

  • Publicly consume a controlled substance; AND
  • Incapable of caring for yourself or others; OR
  • Inhibit public access to streets and sidewalks.

Why Choose Our Drunk In Public Attorney

Pat knows how prosecutors think when charging, investigating, and prosecuting a drunk in public cases in court.  This insider information and experienced is unmatched by any attorney who claims to be a “former prosecutor.”  Just recently, Pat had a client’s drunk in public case dismissed completely with no conviction, no probation, and no fines.

647 F PC Fines

State court fines, like the $1,000 fine for being drunk in public, are also typically assessed what are called “penalties and assessments”.  This leads to fines being tripled or even quadrupled.  By having an attorney like Pat Carey, your money spent on attorneys fees can end up coming back to you by having your charges beat or reduced, thus saving you thousands in court costs and fines.

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