Alcohol-related charges in the state of Texas can have severe consequences for those who are ultimately convicted in their cases. However, some convictions do result in more serious consequences than others. Public intoxication convictions, particularly when it is a person’s first conviction, tend to have less harsh consequences than, say, a third-offense DUI or DWI case. However, Texas courts still take public intoxication very seriously and generally handle alcohol-related cases severely in comparison to many other states. Thus, it’s critical that a person both understand the potential consequences facing him or her if convicted and seek legal help in such a situation.
What Determines the Penalties?
The consequences of a public intoxication conviction can vary hugely. Because the circumstances of any public intoxication case can vary greatly, so too can the consequences for a public intoxication conviction. Some of the variables that might factor into a person’s penalties include:
- Level of intoxication
- Previous offenses
- Any damage caused during the incident
- Any injury caused during the incident
These variables can greatly change a person’s sentence if convicted of public intoxication. Public intoxication charges are not always pursued, as the criteria for making one can sometimes be subjective. An individual has to be acting in a way that the enforcing officer believes is obnoxious, disorderly, or dangerous, which is not something that is easy to prove objectively. The laws for public intoxication vary from state to state, so it’s important to be aware of how your state treats drunken behavior to avoid any potential mishaps or accidental offenses.
If convicted, a person might find themselves burdened with the following penalties:
- Mandatory alcohol-awareness courses
- Legal monitoring
- Community service hours
- Financial penalties
- Jail time
These consequences can greatly impact a person’s day-to-day life and might even have an effect on his or her permanent record. This is especially true of second or third offenses. As such, it’s very important to do everything in one’s power to ensure that he or she receives fair and strong legal representation to give him or her the best chance at reducing or eliminating the charges or penalties against him or her.
If you or someone you know is facing charges of public intoxication, contact an experienced DWI attorney today to evaluate your case and discuss potential defense options.