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The Morris Law Firm
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Panama City Public Intoxication Lawyer

Protecting the rights of individuals in Florida facing alcohol-related charges

If you have been arrested or charged because a police officer claims you were intoxicated in public, you always want to make sure that you have an attorney on your side who understands this type of charge under Florida law. Each state defines and punishes public intoxication differently and choosing a high quality attorney can help you achieve the best possible results in your case. At the Morris Law Firm in Panama City, we will protect your rights and build a strong defense strategy in every case, so please call our office to speak to a Panama City DUI lawyer today.

What constitutes public intoxication?

When most people hear the term “public intoxication,” they may think of an individual drinking alcohol in public or stumbling down the street after having a little too much to drink. However, Florida has a more narrow definition of public intoxication for criminal purposes. The actual charge under Florida law is “disorderly intoxication,” which should apply to fewer individuals than simply being intoxicated on public property.

The two main situations in which disorderly intoxication charges may apply are as follows:

  • When you are intoxicated and pose a risk to the safety of property or another person; or
  • When you are drinking alcohol or are intoxicated in a public place and cause a public disturbance.

Merely drinking alcohol or being somewhat impaired by alcohol is not enough to constitute intoxication in Florida. Instead, intoxication is basically the equivalent of drunk and requires that the alcohol has caused a person to lose control of mental faculties, physical capabilities, or both.

Too often, individuals are accused of public intoxication when they were not, in fact, actually intoxicated. Additionally, individuals can be wrongfully accused when they were intoxicated but did not cause a public disturbance nor posed a danger to anyone’s safety. In such cases, a qualified defense attorney can present evidence that the elements of disorderly intoxication are not met under the law.

Penalties of disorderly intoxication

Florida prosecutors generally issue second degree misdemeanor charges for disorderly intoxication. This means that defendants may face penalties including a $500 fine, probation, and/or 60 days in jail. Additionally, having a conviction on your permanent criminal record can affect your future educational opportunities, job prospects, and much more. You may further face more serious penalties if you are ever again accused of an alcohol-related offense in the future. For these reasons and more, avoiding conviction is highly important whenever possible.

Contact an experienced Panama City criminal defense attorney for assistance

The penalties for any type of alcohol-related charge in Florida can be serious and public intoxication is no different. Anyone facing allegations of disorderly intoxication or any other type of charge related to drinking should not hesitate to call a criminal defense law firm in Panama City for help. The sooner you call The Morris Law Firm, the sooner we can begin investigating your case and gathering evidence to defend against your charges, so please call today at 850-257-5680 to discuss your case.