Have you ever been out with friends and had too much to drink— where you were so drunk that you acted out of character? Maybe you were celebrating a birthday or enjoying a night out on the town. Whatever the reason, you could be charged with disorderly intoxication if you get drunk in public. But what is disorderly intoxication, and what is a good criminal defense to help your case if you’ve been charged?
In this article, we’ll look at the definition of disorderly intoxication and some possible defenses that can be used to defend against this charge.
What is Disorderly Intoxication?
Disorderly intoxication is a criminal offense. It is illegal to be intoxicated and endanger another person or property or to drink alcoholic beverages in public places and cause a disturbance. If you are found guilty, you could face second-degree misdemeanor charges and be subject to punishment as stated under sections 775.082 and 775.083 of the Florida Statutes.
This crime occurs when someone appears intoxicated to others, and their actions are considered disorderly or disruptive. Disorderly conduct is usually charged as a misdemeanor but can be charged as a felony, depending on how serious the behavior is. This charge can be brought against anyone, including minors as well as adults.
It is important to be aware that disorderly intoxication carries serious consequences, and any individual found guilty should seek legal advice immediately.
Disorderly Intoxication Charges
You may be charged with disorderly intoxication if you appear to be intoxicated and causing a disturbance. Possible consequences of a conviction include fines, jail time, and/or probation. Repeat offenders who have been convicted three times within 12 months of each other will likely be required to attend treatment resources for up to 60 days.
This charge is often used by police officers when they arrest someone for doing something that they believe is illegal. They may have been drinking or smoking marijuana and become rowdy, or they may have been causing a disturbance in public.
Rather than imprison an intoxicated person, a peace officer may take them home or to a public or private health facility. Also, they can take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of the individual and those around them. For example, they may arrange for someone sober to pick them up or get them a safe ride home.
Defenses for Disorderly Intoxication
If you’ve been charged with disorderly intoxication in Florida, you might be wondering what a good criminal defense is for this type of charge. Disorderly intoxication is a misdemeanor charge, which means that it carries up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
In order to be convicted of disorderly intoxication, the prosecution must prove that you were intoxicated in public and acted in a disruptive manner. Someone may be found guilty of disorderly intoxication if they are:
- Staggering or falling down
- Muttering or swearing
- Making loud noise that disturbs others (such as yelling at them)
- Acting belligerently toward people who ask them to quiet down
- Fighting with other people
- Acting in an unlawful manner while intoxicated
- Causing danger to yourself or others by your actions (or failing to avoid danger caused by someone else)
- Knew that you were intoxicated and did not have a lawful excuse for being intoxicated
Keep in mind that there are a number of defenses available to you. A good criminal defense attorney will be able to argue that the charges should be dropped or reduced based on the circumstances of your case.
Here are some of the most common defenses for disorderly intoxication:
1. You were not intoxicated at all. This can be difficult to prove if there is no evidence that you were drinking or using drugs before your arrest, but it’s still possible to argue that you weren’t intoxicated enough for the crime.
2. You were falsely accused by someone else or forced into admitting guilt by police officers or other authorities. This is a common defense for disorderly intoxication charges because police often rely on false testimony from witnesses who don’t want their own actions exposed as illegal or unethical.
3. The alcohol or drug content in your system was so low that it couldn’t have caused any problems when combined with your behavior at the time of arrest (for example: if you were found passed out in an alleyway and had only consumed two beers).
4. You were involuntarily intoxicated by someone else and didn’t intend to break the law.
5. There was no threat to public safety; the incident happened in a private place.
Seek Help From a Criminal Defense Attorney Near You
Disorderly intoxication charges in Florida are not a joking matter. If you are arrested for disorderly intoxication, the consequences could be severe. You could face jail time and fines, as well as other penalties. You will also have a criminal record that may make it difficult to find employment or obtain housing.
If you’re facing disorderly intoxication charges, it’s important to understand what they mean and what steps you can take to protect yourself from having to deal with these consequences.
Your first step should be to contact a criminal defense attorney—ideally, someone who has a proven record with disorderly intoxication cases. They can help protect your rights and provide the best possible outcome for your case. An experienced attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain or other arrangement that could minimize any penalties associated with this offense.
They can also work to ensure that all evidence is properly presented in court, and they will use their knowledge to develop the most effective legal strategy for your case. Furthermore, they can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the entire process.
Consult With a Criminal Defense Attorney
At Hanlon Law Clearwater, our team of criminal defense attorneys is dedicated to providing exceptional legal representation for those facing disorderly intoxication charges. We understand that every case is unique, and it takes time to craft a customized defense that considers your circumstances.
Our lawyers deeply understand the law and the criminal justice system, so you can trust us to provide strategic guidance throughout your case. For a free consultation to discuss your case, contact us today.
600 Cleveland St #1100
Clearwater, FL 33755