Despite what it may seem, it is not a crime to have a few beers and to happen to be in a public place. In order to be in violation of California Penal Code 647(f) a person must be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both in a “public place” and EITHER:
(1) Be unable to exercise care for their own safety or the safety of others, OR
(2) Interfere with, obstruct, or prevent others from using streets, sidewalks or other public ways.
The courts have given a general definition in defining a “public place” as any place that is accessible by the general public where they are free to come and go as they wish, such as a sidewalk or in a parked car on a street. Other public places include streets and sidewalks, public businesses, restaurants, parks, hotels, and any area outside a home where a stranger is free to walk.
The charge of CPC 647(f) is a misdemeanor in California and carries with it a punishment of up to six (6) months in jail and/ or a base fine of up to $1,000. This type of charge, depending on your record and the location of the charge, may be eligible for Diversion, or Deferred Entry of Judgment. As such, hiring a capable Defense Attorney can potentially prevent you from having a conviction on your record.
Depending on the individual facts of your case, you may have a valid defense to the charge of CPC 647(f), especially if you were not in a public place, or if you were not voluntarily intoxicated.
If you or a loved one is ever arrested for California Penal Code 647(f) (drunk in public) or any other Criminal Charge, it is vital to seek help as soon as possible. Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian and schedule a free consultation today.