Drunk In Public

What sort of fines or community service is usually doled out for this offense? Before getting sober I had one and it’s just now being placed on the docket. I’m pretty sure it’s only a slap-on-the-wrist, especially without any alcohol related priors, but I’m still nervous.

Anyone out there willing to admit and give some advice?

Impossible to say without knowing exactly what you were charged with, and what state this took place in.

If you were charged with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct in New York state, the maximum penalty is 15 days in jail and $250 fine. The same charge in Pennsylvania
would face a fine of up to $5000 and up to 90 days in jail. If it were a summary offense in Pa. (what other states call a violation), the max penalty is a $50 fine.

For Ron White, it meant his twenty-year crime spree under the alias of Tater Salad came to an end. :slight_smile:

Community service could be anything from picking up trash on the highway to serving food at a homeless shelter. Depends where you live. You mentioned no alcohol related priors, but if there are other priors a judge might decide it’s time to make you learn a lesson. But it doesn’t sound like the kind of onerous crime that would get a judge to throw the book at you. If you’re sober now, the judge may wait to impose any sentence so long as you remain sober and out of trouble.

ETA: IANA lawyer, but I know a lot of drunks.

Yeah, but he wasn’t drunk in public, he was drunk in a bar and they threw him into public!

If the cops didn’t already beat the crap out of you on the spot, you may have already avoided the worst that could happen.

15-some years ago or so, in San Luis Obispo, there was something like this. Dude walks out of a bar onto the sidewalk. Now this dude is a Straight-A senior at Cal Poly getting ready to get started on his senior project, which I think involved finding some kind of internship or something to get involved in. We’re not talking about some kind of low-life scumbag bozo here.

Well, so he walks out of the bar and…
promptly trips over a tree root bulging up the sidewalk and falls on his face.
Promptly, three cops materialize out of the shadows and pounce on him. Maybe they beat him, or maybe just the pouncing did it. But he got his back injured. He swears he wasn’t drunk, he just tripped over a tree root. And AFAIK, nobody disputed that there was a tree root there.

So he gets cited for public drunkenness. Oh and did I mention that the cops never did any kind of blood or breath sobriety test on him? Didn’t matter. Guilty as charged. Back permanently (or at least long-term) injured. Lost out on finishing school that year. Couldn’t get an internship. (Don’t know what happened in the years after that.) Nobody (not the judge anyway) seemed to care that the cops had no actual sobriety test.

Oh, and did I mention that the dude was black? Oh, but you knew that of course.

As others have said, it’s impossible to say without knowing your location and the circumstances around your arrest.

Around here, the local cops have quit charging for simple public intoxication and take you to the local mental health place for alcohol evaluation. But to get to that point you have to have done something else. Staggering down the street doesn’t get you arrested. If you can call someone to take you home or hop in a cab that drives you home, you won’t get arrested.

I would definitely consult a lawyer. Congratulations on your sobriety. An attorney may be able to get the charges deferred and dismissed (say you complete alcohol counseling and don’t get into trouble for 6 months) then everything is dropped. But, IANAL and don’t know where you are. If you told the cop to go fuck himself, the judge may be less inclined to help you. It’s not supposed to matter, but it does.

See a lawyer. This could come back on you later if a future employer sees a public intoxication conviction.

The OP is in Contra Costa County, California. Assuming you are being charged under California Penal Code § 647(f), and not some local ordinance, it’s a misdemeanor, and you might get six months in jail, summary probation, or a fine of up to $1,000. AIUI, jail sentences are imposed only for third-time offenders (when sentencing becomes mandatory).