What to do if I recieved a citation for public drunkenness while driving my car?

UPDATED: Mar 18, 2013

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What to do if I recieved a citation for public drunkenness while driving my car?

The cop said he was giving me a break because I seemed like a nice person and was very cooperative. I now have a citation with no amount for the fine. Will I have to appear in court? Can they change this to a DUI or sentence me to jail time? I already plan on pleading guilty and paying the fine. I am guess this will also appear on my permanent record and probably have no way of fighting it right?

Asked on March 18, 2013 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may or may not have a way of fighting the charge.  If the officer stopped you for an illegal reason, then the whole case against you could be thrown out.  Before you decide to accept or reject a plea offer, visit with a criminal defense attorney about your case.  If the stop is good and you were intoxicated, see if they can work a deal that will have the least impact on your record.  A PI instead of a DUI is already a good deal, but you may still be able to get a better deal.  If the stop is not good, then a criminal defense attorney can file a motion to object to the stop and get the case dismissed completely.  To contest the stop you will have to appear in court. 

The second part of your question is regarding charges.  If a prosecutor or supervisor to the officer reviews the case, they could make the decision to change the charge to DUI. 

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.

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