California Penal Code 647(f) PC Drunk in Public

What are the factors or elements for 647(f) Drunk in Public?

Penal Code 647(f) PC is known as California’s “drunk in public” (or “public intoxication”) law.

Despite what the common name of this law suggests, simply being drunk in a public place is not a crime. Instead, to violate California’s “drunk in public” statute, you need to be so intoxicated that you:

  1. Are unable to exercise care for your safety or the safety of others, OR
  2. 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…even if an aggressive police officer has tried to make you believe otherwise.

Legal Consequences

Drunk in public is a misdemeanor in California. If convicted, you may face up to six (6) months in county jail and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).

And even if the judge decides to go easy on you and sentence you only to
probation rather than jail time  a “drunk in public” conviction will still go on your permanent criminal record, where it can be seen by prospective employers and licensing agencies. Consequently, it is well worth your time and effort to fight these charges.

How can we defend you against charges of California Penal Code 647(f) PC Drunk in Public?

Fortunately, there are a variety of legal defenses that a skilled California criminal defense lawyer could present on your behalf . . . in an effort to reduce or possibly even dismiss your Penal Code 647(f) PC charge.

Some of these defenses include:

There is insufficient evidence that you were intoxicated,

You were not in a public place, and or

The police who investigated the charge violated your civil rights.

 Contact us:

We have been successfully defending clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992.

The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country!

Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.

Don’t bargain with your freedom! The right attorney makes all the difference between your freedom and incarceration!