Exploring Public Intoxication Laws in Texas

Although a night out on the town in Dallas may sound like a good time, taking the fun a little too far can land someone in jail for public intoxication. Unfortunately, it’s easy to make the mistake of public intoxication when you don’t have all of the facts.

Let’s delve into Texas’ public intoxication laws and what you can do if you or a loved one gets arrested on these charges.

What is Public Intoxication?

Fortunately, being drunk in a public location isn’t enough to get someone arrested. If that were the case, most bars would be out of business. However, public intoxication (AKA drunk in public or drunk and disorderly) comes into play when an intoxicated person is drunk to the point that they are a danger to themselves or other people.

What is a Public Place?

What counts as a public location? According to Texas law, any place that is openly accessible to the public. Some of the most common places where people are charged with public intoxication include the following:

  • School common areas
  • Streets
  • Highways
  • Apartments
  • Restaurants/Bars
  • Hospitals
  • Shopping centers

Unfortunately, a person’s front porch is also an area that’s accessible to the public. So, if the police roll by as you and your friends are partying on the porch, you could be in store for a public drunkenness fine, or worse.

Can You Be Arrested for Public Intoxication?

Sure walking around a little buzzed after a night out isn’t likely to get you arrested. However, being loud, rowdy, fighting in a bar, or even threatening can attract the attention of the police and start the path towards a jail sentence.

Some police officers may even use a public intoxication charge to dig deeper into a person’s background and find other reasons to keep them detained and in deeper trouble with the law.

What Are Public Intoxication Charges?

The circumstances that come from a public intoxication charge usually revolve around the severity of the situation. In many cases, a first-time public drunkenness charge is a Class C Misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and a permanent criminal conviction.

Unless a person was actively creating a threat to someone’s safety, it’s unlikely that an arrest comes out of a first-time offense.

However, when a person is a repeat offender in Texas, they are subject to fines of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. 

Should You Apply for a Bail Bond When Arrested for Public Intoxication?

If you are arrested for a crime that involves public intoxication, you should always apply for a bail bond. Not only is it unsafe and uncomfortable to spend the night in jail, but without easy access to your legal defense, you could find yourself extremely unprepared for your initial court hearings.

Sleep it Off Outside of a Jail Cell With 1st Call Bail Bonds

Bail bonds are an excellent and affordable way to take back control of your life after an arrest. Fortunately, if you’re arrested in Dallas, the best bail bond company in the area is at your fingertips.

The team at 1st Call Bail Bonds is open 24/7 and is ready to pay out a bail amount at any cost. Contact our bail bond agents today to learn more about the process and to start your bail bond application.

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