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?

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2014

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 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.

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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