Livingston Parish and Louisiana as a whole have always been known as a party place and infamous for large outside gatherings and nighttime events. These events and parties are very popular with the people of Louisiana and tourists as well. And when these extravaganzas happen, alcohol and drugs are usually present and a large part of the culture of the events. People often become quite intoxicated very quickly at the parties and events which can blend over into public areas outside and after the events are over. This in turn leads to intoxicated people on the streets who are sometimes acting erratically and drunkardly where they shouldn’t be. If you were recently arrested for public intoxication then you should seek help immediately. Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney has handled many public intoxication cases and can help you find a more positive outcome if you have been charged with public intoxication or drunkenness.
Public intoxication is defined in Louisiana as a person being in a public place and so intoxicated they may endanger themselves or another person. Under Louisiana law, Intoxicated is defined as not being able to use mental and physical faculties, such as walking and talking, due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs and/or controlled substances.
The arresting officer must have probable cause to charge you with public intoxication. The police generally look at several factors when trying to establish probable cause. The officers must also make the determination of whether a person who seems intoxicated may be a danger to themselves or others which can be subjective based on the officer. These determining factors of probable cause can include:
1. Whether the person has bloodshot eyes
2. Whether the person is stumbling or unable to stand up
3. Whether the person has a strong odor of alcohol on their breath
4. Whether the person’s mannerisms are consistent with being intoxicated
5. Whether the person is being combative with others in public
The crime of public intoxication is considered a misdemeanor offense in Livingston Parish and Louisiana as a whole. The offender may be imprisoned for up to 90 days and be sentenced to pay a fine. The statute for which public intoxication is proscribed as prohibited is found under Disturbing the Peace. These punishments aren’t as harsh as other misdemeanors, however, they can still negatively affect your quality of life and the quality of life of your loved ones. One severe repercussion that can come from being charged with public intoxication is having the conviction show up on your permanent criminal record. This in turn could negatively affect your chances of finding employment or being accepted to a college or university in the future. It is highly recommended to reach out for legal help if you or a loved one have been charged with public intoxication so as to keep the punishments to the bare minimum.
If you are charged with public intoxication, there are a few different potential defenses to public to the charges that can be used in Louisiana. These potential defenses can focus on showing that there is little or no evidence to support one or more of the elements of the offense and that it should not be taken up by the court or a punishment should not be handed out. The following are these possible defenses:
1. You were not actually intoxicated. You could argue that you were not actually intoxicated at the time of the incident and therefore should not be charged.
2. You were not actually in a public place. Another potential defense against the charges is by showing that you were not actually in a public place at the time of arrest.
3. You did not actually cause harm to yourself or someone around you. You can try to introduce evidence to show that you were not engaging in disorderly conduct at the time of arrest or that you were not actually a harm to anyone.
All three of these defenses can potentially help you lessen your punishments for a public intoxication charge or may even help dismiss the case altogether which can improve your quality of life for the future.
Parties and big events are very common in Livingston Parish and Louisiana and they often involve drugs and alcohol. However, it is illegal to intoxicated in a public area once you have left these events or are moving onto the next party. If you are caught acting intoxicated in public, then a police officer can arrest you if they have probable cause that you are a danger to yourself or those around you. If you or someone you know has been charged with public intoxication, we strongly recommend that you contact us and our legal team at the office of Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney. Mr. Barkemeyer has worked on many public intoxication cases and is very experienced with knowing how to handle and defend the cases with success.
A public intoxication charge can land you in jail or hurt your future by ending up on your permanent criminal record. These punishments can negatively affect your personal life by making it harder to find employment or be accepted to a university or college. However, if you contact us, we can craft a defense around your case that can drastically help and improve the chances of a more positive result for you and your family. For help fighting a public intoxication charge in the Livingston Parish or Denham Springs area, contact the offices of Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney with extensive experience defending public intoxication at (225) 964-6720.