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California "Drunk in Public" Charges

Take this charge seriously... and aim to get it dismissed.

A California drunk in public charge is just one of the nine offenses listed in Cal. Penal Code section 647. Each is considered to be an act of "disorderly conduct" that creates public nuisance and/or danger.

Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers explain that California drunk in public charges fit both descriptions. Note also that these charges can apply to alcohol and drug intoxication.

In order to convict someone of a California drunk in public charge, the prosecutor must prove each the following is true:

  1. the defendant was willfully under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,
  2. the defendant was willfully in a public place, and
  3. the defendant was unable to care for his safety or for the safety of others.

The charge can also be proven by demonstrating that the defendant interfered with, obstructed, or prevented the free use of a sidewalk, street, or other public way because of his or her intoxication.

Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers explain that California drunk in public charges can often be dismissed even where evidence strongly indicates the defendant is vulnerable to conviction. This is because working to demonstrate the defendant is addressing an alcohol problem (or preventing one from developing) can go a long way to convince a prosecutor that punishment is not necessary.

As a result, negotiation often allows us to resolve these cases so that clients walk away without convictions on their records.

Southern California DUI Defense


DUI cases are rarely hopeless. DUI convictions are almost never inevitable. Clients retain our California DUI defense attorneys for one reason: they want to fight the case. And win.

Contact Us For Help

The police arrested you for DUI. You gave a blood or a breath sample. The DUI officer confiscated you drivers license. The police released you with a notice to appear in court in a few weeks. Where do you go from here? Our lawyers are here to guide you step by step.