Public Intoxication Lawyer in San Antonio

Experienced San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney

Being arrested or charged with a crime is a frightening experience, no matter the charge. In Texas, it is a crime to be intoxicated in public to the point where you pose a danger to yourself or others. Peacefully having a beer at a concert, for example, is not sufficient for charges of Public Intoxication (PI). Rather, PI charges sometimes involve an individual who is so intoxicated that they fall, yell obscenities at strangers, try to instigate a fight, or pass out on the sidewalk. At the Law Office of Roberto Ambrosino, PLLC, however, we know there are two sides to every story, and we can defend you against PI charges. Call me, Attorney Roberto Ambrosino, today at (210) 201-7622 for legal help.

Texas Public Intoxication Laws

In Texas, per Texas Penal Code §49.02, Public Intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500. In rare instances, the police may arrest you and make you "sober up" in a "drunk tank". If you just "pay the fine" without the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer, in most cases you're pleading guilty a criminal offense and voluntarily signing up for a criminal conviction that can follow you for the rest of your life. You may fear what a PI conviction could mean for your future, and rightly so. A PI conviction, for example, can jeopardize your ability to obtain new employment if you are in the final stages of the hiring process. Prospective employers may be concerned about potential alcoholism if you’ve been convicted of PI. Nobody wants to have the embarrassing burden of needing to explain the circumstances surrounding a PI conviction.

Defenses to Public Intoxication Charges

If you’ve been arrested on a PI charge, you may worry about what you should do next. Once you’ve been released from jail, we highly recommend you take steps to secure legal representation from a qualified criminal defense attorney in San Antonio. Doing so will ensure you are well-informed of the charge against you and help you formulate a plan to prevent having a mark on your permanent record.

One problem with Public Intoxication charges is it is a subjectively determined crime. An overzealous police officer may find you obnoxious and decide to slap you with unwarranted PI charges, even though you were not in danger of harming yourself or anyone else, and you were not disturbing the peace in any other way. In addition, there is no stipulation that the arresting officer must have measured your blood alcohol content (BAC) by either a breathalyzer or by drawing blood. The police officer does not even have to perform a field sobriety test.

It’s Worth Fighting Public Intoxication Charges

It is worth your time and effort to fight a PI charge because any conviction goes on your permanent criminal record, and it can come back to haunt you in the future. Don’t plead guilty to PI charges, and don’t make the mistake of representing yourself against the charge or accepting the penalty of a relatively small fine just to put the experience behind you. Remember, a PI charge may not be as serious as a DWI conviction, but it still leaves a stain on your permanent record.

The first thing you should do upon release from jail is call a skilled San Antonio criminal defense attorney to help you fight PI charges. Don’t hesitate. Call my firm today at (210) 201-7622 for a free case evaluation.

Criminal Defense


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