Public Intoxication Lawyers in Memphis and Shelby County
Having a few drinks while being out is perfectly legal. However, sometimes people can take things too far. Tennessee’s Public Intoxication law is intended to deter people from becoming a danger to themselves or others. Though, the line between legal and illegal behavior in situations where alcohol or other substances are present can be difficult to draw. It can be fairly easy for a good time to escalate to criminal charges. If you are facing a public intoxication charge, it is important you speak with an experienced attorney immediately. There are several options to get the charge dismissed including classes and being able to pay court costs. An attorney that knows the options can be invaluable in resolving your case favorable. Below is an overview of the law in Tennessee:
Know all Your Options Regarding Public Intoxication Charges
Public Intoxication, TCA 39-17-310: Simply being drunk in public is not enough to satisfy the elements of the charge. A person commits the offense of public intoxication if they are in a public place under the influence of a controlled substance or other intoxicating substance, and they:
- Are endangered;
- Endanger other persons or property; or
- Unreasonably annoy people in the vicinity.
Jail and Fines:A public intoxication violation is a Class C misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor means that you could be facing up to 30 days in jail, as well as fines. Because of how broadly the aggravating factors of public intoxication are defined, one could easily find themselves facing criminal charges. Since being drunk or being under the influence can impair your decision making and memory during such altercations, one may find themselves in a situation pitting their word against that of an officer’s.
Other Consequences: Public intoxication convictions can affect many areas of a person’s life. Some careers are especially sensitive to problems with alcohol or other substances, such as nursing, education, or other jobs involving the operation of vehicles or machinery. College scholarships, and entrance into educational institutions can also be affected. Finally, such charges can affect familial relations, custody disputes, and other social situations.
Do Not Let a Night Out End in a Criminal Conviction Call One of Our Experienced Lawyers today for a Free Initial Consultation
What exactly counts as endangering someone? How far is too far in annoying someone? These questions can be difficult to answer, even for lawyers. People facing public intoxication charges already find themselves at a disadvantage; it can be hard in such situations to recall the events leading to the charge, much less locating witnesses, considering defenses, or presenting their side of the story in a reasonable manner in front of a judge. No matter how bad it may seem, you do not necessarily have to plead guilty.
Brooks Law Firm has experienced criminal defense lawyers who offer free consultations. Our attorneys are willing to listen to your side of the story during a free consultation. We will take the time to consider the facts of your case, and explain your options so that you can make the best decision. You can rest assured that your voice will be heard. The criminal defense lawyers at the Brooks Law Firm are used to negotiating with prosecutors and judges so that we can represent your side of the story.
Though Class C misdemeanors are considered a lower level crime, the effects should not be considered lightly. Misdemeanors can go on your permanent record, and will show up on background checks. Employers may see your public intoxication charge and misjudge your character. Some professions may not even consider someone with charges relating to substance abuse. Not only that, but the potential for jail time could affect your employment or interrupt your family life. You do not have to plead guilty. However, prosecutors can be very aggressive in presenting their case against you. This is why it is imperative that you speak with an experienced attorney who can understand your situation and is willing to fight for your rights. A qualified criminal defense lawyer will see whether prosecutors have proven their case, find out whether any defenses apply, and negotiate for the best solution, including the dismissal of all charges when possible.
Time is of the Essence
Brooks Law Firm will navigate the legal process alongside you so that you can make the right decisions in your case. However, in these cases it can been difficult to track down witnesses and collect evidence. People’s memories fade as the days go on, and evidence has a tendency to disappear. This is why if you are facing a public intoxication charge you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Please call for a free consultation today.