Monday, August 9, 2010

Drunk in Public (PC §647)

Public Intoxication (a.k.a. Drunk in Public) is certainly not the most serious crime law enforcement handles. However, for the defendant this charge can be very damaging if not handled quickly and carefully and, in many cases, as quietly as possible.

Employers, schools, administrative agencies, and others tend to see an arrest for public intoxication as a sign of poor judgment and a direct reflection of the defendant's decision-making ability. In reality, many Drunk in Public charges are unsubstantiated either because the defendant was not actually drunk or law enforcement failed to properly investigate. Unfortunately, once those handcuffs snap into place, the stigma is there and the fight to clear your good name begins.

If you or someone you care about are arrested for public intoxication, follow these simple rules:

1. Remain Silent
Other than to give basic identification information, like name, date of birth, and social security number, nobody in the United States can be forced to answer police questions intended to elicit an incriminating response. The police will tell you that they just want to fill in blanks on the report or they just need some answers so they can let you go. Remain silent.

Every question they ask is intended to get an answer that will help convict you.

When asked ANY questions, simply tell the officer, "I am invoking my right to remain silent and I will not answer any questions without an attorney present."

2. Remain Calm
Being arrested and going to jail sucks. However, arguing, fighting with, or challenging law enforcement will only make it worse. Like Chinese finger-cuffs, the harder you fight, the more powerful the police become. Always remember that respect will win the day. If they tell you to do ten jumping-jacks, do ten jumping-jacks. If they say stand there, sit here, face this way, you do it. And you do it quietly.

3. Contact an Attorney
At the first opportunity, contact an attorney to guide you through the rest of the criminal justice process.

At the Law Office of David J. Givot, we do more than just help you through. We will carefully and methodically examine the charges and the evidence against you. If law enforcement has not done everything necessary to convict you in front of a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, then we will attack the charges from every available angle to achieve the best possible result. Even more importantly, we will vigilantly consider how any resolution will affect your professional, educational, and/or personal future.

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