Public intoxication charges are taken very seriously in the state of Maryland. If you’re currently facing them, you must read on and contact a Maryland criminal defense lawyer from our firm for help. Some questions you may have include:
In Maryland, public intoxication is simply defined as when a person either appears to be intoxicated or is drinking alcoholic beverages in public. Additionally, the person must either endanger the safety of another person or cause a public disturbance to face these charges.
The first thing you should understand is that Maryland law sees public intoxication as a misdemeanor, which means you can face up to 90 days of incarceration and a $100 fine. You may also have to spend time at a detoxification center in lieu of an arrest.
In Maryland, public intoxication is a misdemeanor, which, upon conviction, incurs a fine of up to one hundred dollars, ninety days in jail, or both. In lieu of an arrest, authorities may take an intoxicated individual to a detoxification center or other appropriate health care facility if the intoxicated individual consents or their health is in danger, such as with alcohol poisoning. The arresting authority may just issue a citation asking you to appear in court at a later date. Law enforcement may still charge the intoxicated individual with property damage or other applicable offenses.
An individual charged with public intoxication has a few potential defenses, most of which focus on showing that the prosecutor has little to no evidence to support one or more of the elements of the offense, as outlined above. Some common defenses include:
- You were not, in fact, intoxicated: You, the defendant, may argue that, at the time of the arrest, you were not intoxicated
- You were not in a public place: You cannot be arrested for public intoxication if you were on private property.
- You presented no real or potential danger and were not causing a disturbance.
Even if the consequences seem relatively mild, you should speak with a skilled Maryland criminal defense lawyer if you face charges of public intoxication. An experienced legal representative can help you understand the charges against you, explain your options, discuss probable defenses you may raise and protect your rights.
If you have been charged with a crime or injured by another party’s negligence, contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today.