You are out with your buddies having a good time. You have a few beers and decide to take a walk. There is no crime in walking around while drinking. However, what happens if you get into a fight or destroy property while in this inebriated condition? You are considered to be publicly intoxicated, and the laws in this state stipulate that a police officer can take you into custody. Thankfully, you cannot be formally charged, even if your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit. There are many states in this country that uphold laws regarding public intoxication. However, it is not a crime to be in public and be intoxicated with alcohol in Long Island.
New York Penal Code On Public Intoxication
Consequently, it is important to keep in mind that this law only protects people who are walking around drunk while in public. Under no circumstances can you get behind the wheel of a car when you are drinking. There is a distinction between being drunk while in public and being accused of public intoxication. You can be intoxicated while using narcotics or other drugs and be charged with being publicly drunk. According to New York Penal Code § 240.40, if a person is so inebriated that they are a danger to themselves, someone else, or property, then they can be convicted of public intoxication. The fine is $250, and it could cost you 15 days in jail too.
A police officer has the authority to take a person into custody that appears to be publicly intoxicated. However, the person must consent to be taken into custody for the action to be done legally. Nevertheless, if a person is not able to make rational decisions about their need for medical treatment, a police officer can take them to the hospital or nearest treatment center for emergency care.
An officer also has the option to take a person to a drug and alcohol treatment center. This is a bone of much contention in this state as many people feel that it violates their rights. Still, the law gives an officer this option. You can be enrolled in a program whether you want to be or not. In this instance, they do not have to have your consent. As soon as you enter into protective custody, you will undergo an examination. This examination will ensure that you are not a threat to yourself or anyone else. They can hold you for up to 48-hours or until you can pass such a checkup.
Means and Intent
So, according to the law, you cannot be charged with public drunkenness in the state of New York or the city of Long Island, but you can be arrested for a DWI if you were drunk and had physical control over a vehicle. You do not have to be on the road or driving to receive a charge of this nature. For instance, the officer may charge you if you were pulled over to the side of the road, but your keys were still in the ignition or the car was running.
You may not have been driving at the time that you were approached in the vehicle, but you had the means and intent to drive while intoxicated. Whether prescription drugs, illegal drugs or alcohol, it does not matter. You can be found guilty. Under the state’s laws, it is enough grounds to find you guilty of a DUI. It is important to be wary of risky situations like this where you can get into trouble.
Lawyer for Public Intoxication Charges
Once you are able to make a phone call, you need to call a public intoxication attorney in Long Island to help. An attorney will ensure that your rights are protected. It can be very traumatic to be involuntarily committed to a treatment facility, and you may feel that your rights have been violated, which is why you need an attorney fighting on your behalf. You have the right to a vigorous defense. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. The officer can take you to a treatment facility, and we can still fight to prove your innocence.
Why Spodek Law Group?
When looking for an attorney in Long Island, you may have trouble because of the growing talent pool to choose from. With Spodek Law Group, you are getting more than just an attorney, you are getting a friend to help you through the difficult times. We are familiar with public intoxication and DUI charges. We formulate a defense based on the evidence they have against you. Remember, an officer does not need any blood alcohol tests to feel that you are a danger to yourself or others. We fight to ensure that your charges are dropped or reduced. Call us today if you or a loved one have been charged with a public intoxication charge.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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