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How Serious is a Public Intoxication Charge in Georgia?

How Serious is a Public Intoxication Charge in Georgia?

Even if you have no plans to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, it's still possible that having too much to drink can get you into legal trouble. In the state of Georgia, a public intoxication charge could have some far-reaching consequences. Here is what Georgia thinks about public intoxication, the penalties that you could face from a charge and a few possible defenses you might be able to use in court.

What is Public Intoxication?

The state of Georgia refers to public intoxication by the term "public drunkenness." This is defined as appearing in a public place or on private property without an invitation while in an intoxicated condition. Not only must you be intoxicated, but you must also be loud, profane or vulgar, or you must either appear in an indecent state (nude or partially clothed) or commit an indecent act (urinating in public).

For the sake of the law, "private property" will encompass any land or buildings surrounding a private home. For example, if you were to pass out in someone's yard while intoxicated, you can still be arrested for public drunkenness since you were on the property without permission.

Penalties and Potential Consequences of a Public Intoxication Charge

Public intoxication in Georgia is treated as a class B misdemeanor, which is a much more serious crime than it sounds on the surface. While a misdemeanor is considered a relatively minor offense, the penalties and potential consequences of a conviction can be severe. If found guilty of this crime, you could be asked to pay up to $1,000 in fines and spend up to one year in jail.

No harm done. Defendants can argue that they committed no wrongful acts (such as being "loud") before the arrest.

Having a conviction for any crime on your record can also haunt you long-term. Any criminal record can make finding a job, getting a home or applying to college difficult in the future. These charges should be taken seriously, and you'll want to make every effort to mount a strong defense whenever possible.

Potential Defenses for a Public Intoxication Charge in Georgia

If you hire a public intoxication defense attorney in Georgia, there are several ways that they can help you fight these charges. Some of the common defenses to a public drunkenness charge include:

  • Not intoxicated. Defendants can argue that they weren't intoxicated at the time of arrest. These cases often don't involve blood alcohol tests.
  • No harm done. Defendants can argue that they committed no wrongful acts (such as being "loud") before the arrest.
  • Not a public place. The defense can show that the defendant was not in a public place or was involuntarily moved to the place of arrest.

If you've been arrested and charged with public intoxication in the state of Georgia, regaining your freedom is the first step. Contact us at Free at Last Bail Bonds immediately to help with a bail bond for a Georgia public intoxication or DUI arrest.