Maryland Public Intoxication Lawyer
In the state of Maryland, being intoxicated in public is a misdemeanor charge carrying a maximum penalty of a fine up to $100, or jail time up to 90 days, or both. This is not the most cutting-edge legal issue to talk about, but there are a few important things to remember and nonetheless, it’s a very common scenario we find our clients in.
In a public intoxication scenario, you could either be arrested by an officer, or issued a citation. To paint a few examples, if you are leaving a bar or restaurant and you decide to walk home after having too many drinks, but instead of the sidewalk, you decide to walk in the road, you could be issued a citation or arrested for public intoxication. If you are leaving a game venue after a few drinks, and you’re upset with the outcome of the game and shouting outside of the venue, a police officer could arrest you for public intoxication or issue a citation. Put simply, public intoxication basically means being drunk in public or drinking alcohol in a public place.
The Maryland Code looks at two questions when deciding if someone should be charged with public intoxication. The first question is whether you are under the influence of alcohol in public or drinking alcohol in a public arena. Regardless of how much you drink, what matters is if you are intoxicated to the police officer. The second question is whether your intoxication endangers another person or property, or if it causes a public disturbance.
Maryland Public Intoxication Laws
In addition, if this person started to do something that was endangering another person or property. Let’s say he or she started to kick at the door of the venue, or if that person started to dance while outside of the venue and was knocking into people that started to cause some havoc in front of the bouncer. That scenario could lead to a possible arrest. Going back to the two scenarios discussed earlier, the prosecutor must prove two elements: the person is intoxicated in public, and that intoxication is endangering another person or property, or causing a public disturbance.
(Md. Ann. Code § 19-101.)
Common Scenarios of Public Intoxication in Maryland
The Maryland code defines a public place to include anything from the sidewalks of a shopping center and hotel, to public parking lots and property outside of schools, and the more obvious spaces like sidewalks in front of bars and restaurants. Because the definition of public is so broadly defined, public intoxication arrests are common in Maryland. This type of arrest can also stem from other charges as well. Often a public intoxication citation could be added to a DUI arrest, a simple assault arrest, or possession of an open container. The most common scenario we see public intoxication come up is from a public disturbance. This means when a person is making a loud noise in a public space and causes someone or something to be disturbed. If you are standing on the street intoxicated and you’re yelling, shouting, laughing, or causing a loud noise, a person could call the police and report this incident to them which in turn, could lead to you being issued a citation or being arrested for public intoxication.
Hiring a Maryland Public Intoxication Lawyer
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested or issued a citation for Public Intoxication in Maryland, in either Prince George County or Montgomery County, you are not alone. Maryland criminal defense attorney Morgan E. Leigh will take your case seriously and believes in an aggressive criminal defense. If you or a loved one finds yourself in this scenario, the most important thing to do next is find an attorney who you are comfortable with and who has experience practicing in the court where your citation or arrest sits.
Attorney Leigh has been practicing in both the District and Circuit Court in Maryland for years and has had numerous successes through her zealous representation. She will advocate for the best possible outcome for you and not leave you behind.