Drunk In Public Lawyers (Disorderly Conduct) PC647 Defense
We Defend Clients in Orange County against Drunk In Public or Disorderly Conduct (PC647) Charges
California state law has a broad description of what it classifies as disorderly conduct. Generally, behavior that disturbs the peaceful activities of a public place creating alarm, anger, irritation, or provocation can be considered disorderly conduct and subject to misdemeanor penalties. These penalties can include fines, probation, and jail time. It is not the “intoxication” portion of the 647f charge that is usually the problem. Nor is it the “public” portion. It’s actually not illegal to be drunk in public.
What is illegal is being intoxicated enough to be a danger to yourself or others, or “disturbing the peaceful activities” of others. Many city police departments in Orange County are aggressive about punishing drunk in public cases (sometimes referred to as “drunk and public”) in particular cities.
The Law: Penal Code (PC) 647
The law states as follows:
“Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor…(f) Who is found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance, or toluene, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.”
As you can see, the law makes it illegal to interfere with or obstruct any public walkway, sidewalk or street to the extent that there is a danger (personal danger or danger to others). At Miller & Associates, we recognize that a disorderly conduct charge is much more than a mere nuisance, and can have a significant impact on your finances, reputation, and your freedom. Our founding attorney understands the subjective nature of these types of criminal charges and how to effectively defend against them. With nearly 20 years of experience, we have the legal insight and skill to provide the assertive advocacy you require.
Types of Disorderly Conduct Charges
California Penal Code details an extensive list of offenses that it considers being disorderly conduct. These transgressions include:
- Lewd conduct or solicitation of lewd conduct
- Prostitution or solicitation of prostitution
- Accosting another individual for the purpose of begging
- Loitering in a public facility for the purpose of lewd, lascivious, or
any unlawful acts
- Acting under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance in a public place (drunk in public)
- Loitering, prowling, or wandering into private property or business for the purposes of peeking or other unlawful viewing
- Use of a concealed camera or video equipment for the purposes of unlawful viewing
Subjectivity of Disorderly Conduct
This law is defined very generally. As a result, what is determined to be “disorderly conduct” can be subject to interpretation.
The analysis of the charges can include:
- The circumstances of the alleged violation: Many disorderly conduct charges involve activities that would not be considered unlawful if committed at another location or time. For example, shouting in the middle of a church service may be deemed disruptive, but yelling in a construction zone may not.
- Objectivity of the courts: The prosecutor must show that a reasonable person would be alarmed by the conduct.
- Location of the disturbance: What is and is not considered a public place is open to debate.
Our highly skilled criminal defense attorney is well-versed in the nuances of a disorderly conduct case. Together, the professionals at our firm can provide the assertive representation you require to dispute any type of disturbing the peace charge.
Drunk in Public Charges in Orange County
Appearing in public while intoxicated is a specific section in the disorderly conduct statute. An individual who is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is determined to be guilty of disorderly conduct if one of the following is proven:
- The individual is unable to care for their own safety or the safety of others
- The individual obstructs or prevents the use of a public thoroughfare such as a street or sidewalk
As with most aspects of the statute, the above stipulations are vulnerable to misunderstandings and overly zealous application. If you are confronting drunk in public allegations, our perceptive Newport Beach DUI lawyer can offer the discerning and aggressive representation you need for your defense.
Protecting Your Freedom and Reputation
Our lead attorney has over 21 years of experience providing aggressive and formidable representation throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties. Our impressive track record of success is a direct result of our in-depth and first-hand knowledge of the California court system.
At Robert Miller & Associates, protecting our clients’ freedoms and reputation is our first priority. If you have been charged with any type of disorderly conduct, don’t delay in obtaining the discerning legal counsel and hard-hitting advocacy you need for your defense! Contact our firm today to arrange a free case evaluation!