Perhaps you decided to walk home after a few drinks, or maybe a night out got away from you. No matter what led to your public drunkenness charge, it’s important to know what you’re up against so that you can get the legal support you need.
What Georgia Law Says About Public Drunkenness
Georgia law requires that you meet two conditions to be charged with public drunkenness:
- You must be in an intoxicated state in public, or on private property without permission
- You must either be vulgar and boisterous, in an indecent condition, or performing an indecent act
These standards can be applied to a broad variety of situations. Being intoxicated and partially undressed on a public street can lead to a public drunkenness accusation, as can passing out in someone’s backyard after too many drinks.
Public drunkenness is a misdemeanor in the state of Georgia. Depending on the severity of your crime and how the judge views public drunkenness, you could be fined up to $1,000, sentenced to up to one year in jail, or possibly even both.
Quite a few public drunkenness cases in Georgia come with additional charges. The most common include:
- Disorderly conduct
- Underage possession of alcohol
- A pedestrian under the influence
If additional charges are tacked on, you could spend even more time in jail or pay even higher fines.
Defending Yourself Against Public Drunkenness Charges
In addition to possible financial penalties and jail time, public drunkenness can negatively impact your life in other ways. A conviction could lead to more severe penalties for future offenses, limit your employment options, or leave you unable to pursue certain occupational licenses. For these reasons, it’s crucial to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.
Your defense attorney will use a variety of methods to demonstrate your innocence and make it difficult for the prosecution to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Common defenses include:
- Not in a public place. If you were on private property and you were permitted to be there, this charge may not stick. If your actions were visible to people outside the property, however, you may still be found guilty of public drunkenness.
- Not acting indecently or being a nuisance. Remember, you must meet both qualifications of public drunkenness to be convicted. If you were simply intoxicated in public without being too loud, boisterous, or causing an indecent, you may not be guilty of the crime.
- Not intoxicated. It’s possible to appear intoxicated to outside viewers without actually being under the influence. The arresting officer’s testimony is often considered strong evidence for intoxication, however. This may only be a defense option if you have proof that you were not intoxicated.
Let Us Defend You in Your Public Drunkenness Case
Don’t let a public drunkenness charge affect your future. Call Schnipper Law, P.C. at (404) 480-8708 and let us defend you again public drunkenness and other related charges. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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