To be charged with public intoxication in Florida, someone must be intoxicated to the point that his or her behavior is disturbing or endangering others. That is, it must be considered a disruption to the public. This kind of charge can significantly impact your future, but to complicate matters, it also can be subjective in some cases. What may be considered disruptive to one person may not be to another. It’s for this reason if you’ve been charged with public intoxication in Miami, often referred to as disorderly intoxication, talking with defense lawyers can give you a better idea of your legal options.
Penalties for a Conviction of Public Intoxication in Florida
Disorderly intoxication is considered a second-degree misdemeanor, which means it’s punishable by:
- no more than 60 days in jail;
- six months’ probation; and
- $500 fine.
What’s more, according to 2012 Florida statutes, the courts may commit a habitual offender (any person who has been convicted of public intoxication three times within a 12-month period) to a rehab treatment facility for no more than 60 days. If you have prior disorderly intoxication convictions and face subsequent charges in Miami, speaking with defense lawyers is critical.
Officer Discretion in Disorderly Intoxication
Florida law allows police officers the discretion to make an arrest when they encounter someone they believe is visibly intoxicated in public. Incarceration isn’t always the outcome; the officer may opt to take an individual to his or her home, arrange transportation, or send him or her to a public or private health care facility.
When the basis of your arrest for public intoxication in Florida is made on the judgment call of an officer and he or she takes you to jail, speak with an attorney to discuss how best to defend yourself throughout the legal process. Defense lawyers can make sure you understand what’s happening at each step in the process and that your rights are protected.
In some cases, Florida state laws even allow for some misdemeanor convictions to be expunged from your criminal record. That’s good news if you’re concerned about the impact of a conviction on your employment, finances and reputation. To be sure if this is even an option for your case of public intoxication in Miami, consult your defense lawyer about the specifics of your case.
A Public Intoxication Charge Doesn’t Always End in Conviction
Dealing with a charge of public intoxication in Florida is not fun, but by consulting the Miami defense lawyers at Falk & Ross, you can help ensure you are represented properly throughout the process. Even a misdemeanor conviction can impact your future, which is why you don’t want to leave the outcome of your case to chance. Lawyers Eric Falk and David L. Ross have handled felony and misdemeanor cases in Miami and across the state. Call 1-877-663-5110 or 1-305-741-6997 today to discuss the public intoxication charges you’re facing and get the answers you need.