Top Lewes, DE Public Intoxication Lawyers Near You

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Lewes, DE

26 The Circle, PO Box 250, Georgetown, DE 19947

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Lewes, DE

6 North Railroad Avenue, Georgetown, DE 19947

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Lewes, DE

8 West Market Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Lewes, DE

16 North Bedford Street, PO Box 824, Georgetown, DE 19947

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Lewes, DE

11 South Race Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

Lewes Public Intoxication Information

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Find a Public Intoxication Attorney near Lewes

What Is Considered Public Intoxication?

Charges of public intoxication are generally the result of being obviously drunk on alcohol or under the influence of other drugs while in a public setting, be it on the sidewalk, at the park or elsewhere.

Due to the connection between drugs and alcohol and addiction, public intoxication itself is not always considered to be a criminal offense worthy of charges, but rather an indication that an individual should be diverted toward addiction services or some other form of support group (a medical approach versus a punitive approach).

Public Intoxication Charges

Public intoxication charges can occur when a person is visibly drunk or under the influence of drugs in public. The specific definition and punishments of public intoxication may vary by state. Depending on the specifics of your case an attorney can explain the charges to you and discuss the various possible defenses to your case.

Disorderly Conduct vs. Public Intoxication

While public intoxication charges and disorderly conduct charges often appear at the same time, depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense, the two charges are quite different.

Disorderly conduct charges involve an offender who may have been:

  • fighting or causing any form of tumultuous and undesirable public conduct
  • shouting or yelling loudly to disturb the common peace and not stopping after being asked disrupting a lawful assembly of individuals
  • otherwise acting improperly to an aggravating or reckless degree

Public intoxication, meanwhile, does not always involve outwardly offensive behavior other than the act of being severely intoxicated. For example, if you are passed out on a park bench after a night of drinking, you could potentially be cited for public intoxication. However, if you are arrested after starting a verbal argument with a fellow bar patron and making a scene, you could face both charges depending on the jurisdiction

Have You Been Charged With Public Intoxication?

Public intoxication charges are no laughing matter. Though the charge is usually a misdemeanor, you will want to hire an attorney. A skilled public intoxication attorney can help defend you against these charges.

How Serious is a Public Intoxication Charge?

There is no charge related to public intoxication at the federal level but state laws vary greatly in how it’s treated.

Some states do not consider public intoxication a crime while others prohibit the criminalization of being drunk in public in terms of municipal laws as well. In these states and others like them, if you are found severely intoxicated in public, you are instead taken to a treatment facility. However, some states do consider public intoxication to be a viable category of criminal behavior.

In any state where a public intoxication charge is considered a criminal offense, a conviction can mean a permanent criminal record, making it a serious charge. In most states, the only responses available to remediate a past criminal conviction are expungement, expunction, sealing of the record and in some cases, a full pardon.

Is Public Intoxication a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

In almost all cases, a charge of public intoxication is classified as a misdemeanor. That being said, public intoxication is commonly an “add-on” offense in situations involving assault, battery, rape, sexual assault and other, more serious crimes when drugs or alcohol are involved to a material degree (in jurisdictions allowing for the charge).

Public intoxication is typically classified as either a Class B or Class C misdemeanor.

How Much is the Fine for Public Intoxication in Delaware?

The fine attached to each charge of public intoxication varies from state to state, but generally ranges from $250 to $1,000.

Can You Fight a Public Intoxication Charge?

It is possible to fight a public intoxication charge. As with all criminal charges, it is strongly recommended that you secure adequate legal counsel before proceeding to trial — if a trial is necessary.

Not only can a skilled criminal defense attorney outline the options available to you, but attorney-client privilege protects the discussions you have with your lawyer, giving you the opportunity to divulge all material facts and evidence in support of developing a strategy for your defense.

A criminal record is certainly an undesirable outcome for those facing charges related to public drunkenness or public intoxication, therefore, if you are accused of such offenses you should engage a defense attorney’s services immediately.

Depending on how severe the circumstances surrounding the proceedings of your individual case are, a skilled attorney may be able to negotiate a diversion program, addictions counseling or other, less criminally onerous solutions from a judge (or even the prosecution before taking the case to trial).

When to Hire a Lawyer

It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you’ve suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.

How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation

Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.

How to Find the Right Attorney

  • Determine the area of law that relates to your issue. Attorneys specialize in specific practice areas around legal issues within the broad field of law.
  • Seek out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. A successful attorney or practice will typically have many satisfied clients.
  • Set up consultation appointments to get a better understanding of your case as well as gauge your comfort level with different attorneys. Find the attorney who is the right fit for your needs.

Common legal terms explained

Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.

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