Do I have a good chance on getting charges dropped on a public intoxication charge if I was in a backyard by myself?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I have a good chance on getting charges dropped on a public intoxication charge if I was in a backyard by myself?

I was in a fenced up backyard the other night calling a friend to come pick me up because I didn’t want to drink and drive. While I was sitting in my car 2 cops came up behind me and arrested me. I wasn’t holding a beer and the keys where not even in the car.

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A public intox charge is where someone is intoxicated in a public place to the extent that you are a danger to yourself or someone else.  Driving while intoxicated is where someone is intoxicated and operates a motor vehicle.  Since the keys were not even in the car, the cops and the prosecution will have a hard time charging you with driving while intoxication or driving under the influence.  This leaves the public intox charge.  Your question notes two different locations.  The backyard may or may not be a “public place.”  If it was not your backyard, there’s a better change of it being deemed a public place--and beating the charge.  If it was a friend’s backyard, then the facts of the evening will determine whether you were in a “public place.”  If only you and another guest or two were present, then the backyard will not be considered a public place.  If there was a huge party with a high volume of guests coming and going, then it could be considered a public place.  Assuming, however, that the backyard you were in was not “public”, the second part of your question states the cops came up on you while you were sitting in your car.  If your car was on the roadway, even if it was not running at the time, that would be considered a public place.  The fact that you were in a vehicle will be considered as part of the evidence that you were a danger to yourself or others, (i.e. that you could have started driving and hurt someone).  You have some very fact specific questions.  You should get a copy of the offense report and then consult with an attorney that specializes in criminal law to get an opinion that is even more specific to the facts of your case.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption