What to do if I was charged with public intoxication because I wandered into my neighbor’s apartment by mistake and they turned me in?

s there any way I could have the charges dropped if my neighbors rescind what they said since technically I was in a private place?

Asked on August 31, 2014 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If your neighbors rescind or retract what they said, they could face potential liability for lying to the police or having filed what would be then considered a false police report--it is unlikely (if they are smart) that they will do this. And even if they did, that does not at all guaranty that the authorities will drop the charges, if they believe that they have other evidence to support the charges and/or can get your neighbors to go back to their original statement(s).

You should retain a local attorney with experience in intoxication-related issues and follow his/her advice; nothing will help you as much as experienced local counsel who knows the prosecutors and judges.

That said, as a general matter, assuming you do not have similar priors, you best bet normally would be to accept responsibility, apologize sincerely, and agree to take some course or counseling if the prosecutor or court wants you to--that has a reasonably high likelihood of having the charges dropped, either immediately or conditionally (such on completion of the course/counseling, or after a certain period of time). But again, that is general advice: for advice focused on the specific facts of your case and your specific needs, you need to consult with a lawyer.


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