If I was summoned for public intoxication and received a fourth degree misdemeanor, is jail time a possibility if this is my first offense?

I live in OH.

Asked on November 27, 2011 under Criminal Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In OH public intoxication per se is not a crime.  Rather, it is typically prosecuted as Disorderly Conduct which requires an individual to display certain behaviors under the influence of alcohol.  Just being under the influence is not enough to support a charge for Disorderly Conduct. Soecifically, Disorderly Conduct occurs when one recklessly causes inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to another due to offensive conduct. Disorderly Conduct while intoxicated is a minor misdemeanor but can be elevated to a 4th degree misdemeanor if the offender persisted in the conduct after a request to stop, if the conduct was committed near a school, or in the presence of a law enforcement officer or firefighter at the scene of an emergency. A 4th degree misdemeanor can be punished by a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a fine of several hundred dollars.

Since this is your first offense, that may aid in minimizing your penalty. However it all depends on just why you were charged in the 4th degree. At this point, you should speak to a DUI attorney in the area. They also handle these type cases and can best advise you as to all of this.

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