It’s not against the law to grab a few drinks and take a stroll down 6th Street or downtown Austin. Just because you may have had one too many doesn’t mean that you’re guilty of public intoxication in Texas. Fight back against a public intoxication charge to keep it off your record.
What is Public Intoxication in Texas?
Under the Texas penal code, a “person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.” A public place can include a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol.
What’s the Penalty for Public Intoxication?
Public intoxication is charged as a Class C Misdemeanor. This means that it is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Should I Just Pay the Fine?
Although it might be tempting to just pay the fine and get it over with, having a conviction for public intoxication stays on your record and doesn’t look good to future employers and professional licensing boards. Although it’s a Class C Misdemeanor—much like a traffic ticket—not all Class C Misdemeanors are looked at the same.
How Can I Fight the Charge?
Not only does the state need to prove that you were intoxicated, they must also prove that you were in a public place and that you may have endangered yourself or someone else. All these elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which may prove difficult if the officer never got your BAC and only his opinion was used to determine that you may have endangered yourself or someone else.
How Can I Keep this Off My Record?
Depending on how your case is resolved, you may be eligible to get the arrest expunged or your record nondisclosed.
Call an Austin Public Intoxication Attorney
The best way to fight back against a public intoxication charge is to get representation from an experienced attorney. The team at Stephen T. Bowling & Associates has experience successfully representing clients with PI charges and on expunging records. Call us today for a free consultation.