Public intoxication in the state of Florida may also be called disorderly intoxication. Many people in the state are unaware that you could be charged with the offense of public intoxication even if you are in a location where drinking is allowed. As an example, if you are at a baseball game it is legal for you to purchase and drink beer at the game. You may not, however, drink so much that you disturb others. It is also not a good idea to be noticeably inebriated when you are leaving the ballpark.
You could face public intoxication charges if you cause any type of public disturbance as a result of your intoxication. It is important to note that you do not actually have to be noticeably drunk to be charged with public intoxication—if you are in possession of an alcoholic drink, you are in public, and you have engaged in any type of behavior which could be considered a disturbance to the public, you could face charges of public intoxication.
Disorderly Intoxication Penalties
A first or second offense public intoxication can be charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. However, the judge has the option of placing you in jail for up to two months and assessing a fine as high as $500. In the state of Florida, if you have three or more charges for the same crime within a 12-month period, you are considered a habitual offender. If you are charged as a habitual offender, you could face up to 60 days in a drug and alcohol rehab or treatment facility in addition to the other penalties.
You could also face additional charges if you become violent during your arrest for public intoxication (or become violent prior to the arrest) in the form of disorderly conduct. A disorderly conduct conviction can result in up to a year in prison and fines as large as $500. Because the penalties are fairly severe, and a conviction for public intoxication will remain on your permanent criminal record, it is wise to speak to an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible after you are charged.
Have You Been Charged with Disorderly Intoxication?
Being arrested and charged with a crime is no laughing matter. These charges can adversely affect your entire future and can cost you significantly. If you’re facing charges of public intoxication, it is important to know that you can fight these serious charges – and win. At Lockett Law, our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys are ready to fight for you. We can help you protect your future and your freedom during the legal process. No matter how serious the charges are against you, we can help. Call us today at (904) 567-9508 or fill out our confidential contact form and someone will call you back immediately!