If I got charged with public drunkenness in my own backyard, can I fight it or just plea guilty?

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If I got charged with public drunkenness in my own backyard, can I fight it or just plea guilty?

Even after I asked the arresting officer to test me cause I was not drunk or buzzed at the time of the incident.

Asked on May 4, 2015 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You have the right to contest any charge that you do not agree you are guilty of.  You have some decent facts, namely that it wasn't a public place, but rather a private place.  Also, if you have witnesses that will confirm that you were not drunk, then that would be a valuable part of your defense as well. 

You can always try to represent yourself, but they have a saying about a "fool for a lawyer."  You know the facts of your case.  This is obviously personal to you-- as well it should be-- but you need someone that can help you deliver your mesage clearly.  If you believe this charge is just truly wrong, invest in the time to visit with more than one attorney.  Many offer free or inexpensive consultations....so it's just a matter of making the appointment.  From there, pick the one that understands your case and is familiar with the jurisdiction where your case will be handled.


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