Please fill out the form and someone will be in touch with you shortly.

    • Los Angeles County
      (213) 341-4427
    • Orange County
      (714) 442-2601
    • San Bern / Riverside
      (909) 748-5272
    • San Diego County
      (619) 752-2235
    • Kern / Santa Barbara
      (661) 473-0422
    • Sacramento / Sonoma
      (916) 248-4717
    • Alameda / San Joaquin
      (510) 403-8809
    • Ventura County
      (805) 248-7408
    • Fresno / Santa Clara
      (559) 365-7055
    • Northern California
      (530) 427-4167

    Affordable Rates

    cards Payment Plans

    Drunk in Public

    Did you think that you can be charged for drinking or intoxication only when there is vehicle involved? In California, a person can be charged for excessive drunkenness or alcohol consumption in public.

    As a lively city, California’s beach communities with bars and nightlife are often referred as partying destinations by visitors. But, is it illegal to drink when you are in public? You can consume alcohol in public places in California without fearing about criminal charges. However, if you become intoxicated to a level that it affects your ability to ensure personal safety or safety of others, you can be charged for drunk in public or public intoxication. The charges are filed under penal code 647(f).

    Penal Code 647(f)

    California’s Penal Code 647 (f) deals with drunk in public charges and penalties. For a person to be charged under 647 (f), the prosecutor must establish,

    • The person was in public place at the time of arrest.
    • The person was willfully under the influence of liquor or intoxicated by drugs, controlled substance, or toluene or any combination of drugs, controlled substances, and alcohol and either or both following conditions were present
    • The person was intoxicated to a level in which he or she was unable to exercise his or her own care and safety and that of others. Or
    • Due to intoxication, the person interferes, blocks or prevents the free use of any street, road or entryway in the state.

    The term ‘willfully’ in the clause depicts that the person has been consuming of ingesting alcohol on its own will.

    Penalties in Drunk in Public Charges

    When you are facing charges of drunk in public, there can be strict penalties. You must consult an experienced defense lawyer for your legal representation in court to avoid conviction or to reduce charges to minimum. In California, public intoxication is charged as misdemeanor which means that it will become a part of your criminal record. If you are an illegal immigrant, such conviction can cause problem in your case for green card or nationality. If you are a resident, it can show in your background checks affecting your employment or enrollment.

    The sentences for drunk in public charges are up to,

    • $1000 in fines
    • Six months of jail time
    • Or probation instead of jail time
    • In case of a minor, the defendant with his or her consent is also asked to enroll in DUI classes when DUI is not part of criminal charges.

    Civil Protective Custody

    As an alternative to filing charges under Penal Code 647 (f), the law enforcement may decide to take you in the civil protective custody. A civil protective custody is when the police takes you to the inebriation facility or commonly known as drunk tank where you are put under observation for next 72 hours. The police will observe the behavior of inebriated.

    The good thing about civil protective custody is that it bars prosecutor from filing charges against you later. It means that you do not face any criminal charges.

    However, the facilities are not available in many cities and counties which make criminal charges almost inevitable.

    How Can We Defend You?

    A successful defense in drunk in public cases occurs when your legal representation can prove in the court that

    • You were not in a public place.
    • You were not willfully intoxicated.
    • There is insufficient evidence of your intoxication. It can be done by questioning the procedure of investigation officer or proving that test violated your civil liberties.


    By evaluating the situation, going through the circumstances of your arrest and asking you questions about the investigative procedure, we determine the most suitable defense in your case and build a case around it. David S. Chesley’s law office has been successfully defending clients against public intoxication charges for decades and our experience and knowledge has bestowed us with a high success rate.

    DUI Alcohol

    DUI Alcohol

    According to VC 23152 (a), it is illegal for any person to drive under the influence of alcohol.

    Learn More

    DUI Marijuana

    DUI Marijuana

    As experienced defense attorneys, we have various instances of the successful defense of DUI marijuana cases.

    Learn More

    DUI Drugs

    DUI Drugs

    The drug can be any controlled, illegal or prescription substance that can impair a person’s ability to drive a vehicle safely.

    Learn More

    Hit and Run

    Hit & Run

    A hit and run case is when the driver after hitting another car(s) or damaging the property did not stop and left the scene without notifying other drive or property owner and law enforcement.

    Learn More

    Drunk in public

    Drunk in Public

    You must consult an experienced defense lawyer for your legal representation in court to avoid conviction or to reduce charges to minimum.

    Learn More

    services Image

    Driving Without a License

    The situation and circumstances of your charges play an important role in determining the conviction and penalty.

    Learn More

    Areas We Serve

    Recent Results

    • Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

    • Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

    • Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

    • Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

    • Client’s estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

    • Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client’s glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

    • Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

    • Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

    Awards and Certifications

    What our clients say Client Testimonials

    Organizations We Are a Member of or Support