Top Rehoboth Beach, DE Public Intoxication Lawyers Near You

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Rehoboth Beach, DE

8 West Market Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Rehoboth Beach, DE

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

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Rehoboth Beach, DE

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

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Rehoboth Beach, DE

6 North Railroad Avenue, Georgetown, DE 19947

Public Intoxication Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Rehoboth Beach, DE

11 South Race Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

Rehoboth Beach Public Intoxication Information

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Find a Public Intoxication Attorney near Rehoboth Beach

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).

Best Time to Seek Legal Help

No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.

The Importance of a Good Consultation

The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.

Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.

Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.

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