In Alabama, being too loud after having a couple of beers at a tailgate in a public parking area, or thinking you are funny when you are annoying someone on the street after you had a drink or two at the local bar can have serious ramifications for the rest of your life. In Alabama, if you are arrested and found guilty of the violation of public intoxication you could end up in jail. Even if you don't end up with a jail sentence, a conviction on this charge can follow you forever. We live in a world of background checks for jobs of all sorts and children's field trip chaperoning. One night's bad judgment can have serious ramifications for your future employment or other areas in your life.
In Alabama, if you are found guilty of public intoxication under Alabama Code s. 13A-11-10, you can be fined up to $200 and sentenced up to 30 days in jail. Should you be arrested on this charge, you will need a good criminal defense attorney in Birmingham like John Michael Barclay. You should contact Barclay Law as soon as possible after your arrest at 866-584-1023.
If you are charged with public intoxication, you will be arrested and likely held on bail. You will have an opportunity to get a lawyer after you get out of jail. Attorney Barclay can guide you during your arraignment, when you are brought before a judge to answer to the charge. He often helps clients get such charges dismissed.
If your attorney helps you get the case dismissed, the charge would be eligible for "expungement." This means your arrest would be "sealed" or erased. Potential employers, for example, would not be able to find any record of your arrest. Mr. Barclay has experience with expungements.
What Happens After a Public Intoxication Arrest?
If you are charged with public intoxication, it is important to consider what the State must prove to win its case. What seems at first blush to be simple is not. The State must prove more than that you were simply in public while seemingly intoxicated by alcohol or under the influence of drugs. The State also must prove you were acting in a way that endangered yourself, another person or property, and that your actions annoyed another person in a boisterous or offensive manner. In a public intoxication arrest, the police officer doesn't have to give you a Breathalyzer to determine if you were impaired. Much of the basis of the arrest is subjective. You'll need an experienced attorney with an artful hand to help you get the charge dismissed. You'll need John Michael Barclay.
Your attorney may be able to suggest defenses to the charge. Perhaps the incident did not occur in a truly public place. A careful investigation as to access and a depiction of the scene of the violation could become key. Evidence of intoxication must be evaluated. Perhaps a defendant was involuntarily intoxicated. The defendant may have consumed a drink that someone else spiked. Perhaps a defendant had a sip of alcohol but was stumbling because of a medical condition or illness. The endangerment of the public welfare should be explored and could become seen as patently minimal once reviewed.
Furthermore, perhaps the notion that someone was bothered by boisterous behavior was assumed by a police officer, when the members of the public found a defendant's behavior odd but not bothersome. All of this research, preparation and presentation would be combed through by an experienced defense attorney like John Michael Barclay - which importantly, in turn could lead to dismissal or a disposition less than a conviction for a defendant.
Attorney Barclay regularly has these cases dismissed in county and municipal Courts throughout Alabama.
Even if the State does have the evidence to win its case, your lawyer can help you bargain for and receive a favorable disposition. He may review the evidence, and realize that due to his client's age, the client is eligible to have the case resolved as a youthful offender. If the defendant is beyond the age where he could be considered a youthful offender, the defendant may qualify for a diversion program that, when completed, may result in a dismissal of the charge. Often such a diversion program may entail completion of an alcohol education class and some community service hours. Mr. Barclay knows when and how to ask for such dispositions.
Public intoxication is a serious offense. Individuals who create a disturbance when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be endangering the public by creating a safety hazard. It is important to get such people off the roads and put them in a safe environment before they hurt themselves or others. At the same time, bad judgment by a person on one night should not jeopardize a future that has yet unfolded. An experienced defense attorney can help a person charged with this violation to find their way and to receive a just outcome.