Virginia Criminal Defense Drunk Intoxicated Alcohol DUI

Fairfax County Public Intoxication

Apr 6, 2022 | Criminal Law

Public Intoxication, Va. Code 18.2-388, is a Class 4 Misdemeanor in Virginia, meaning it is the lowest level criminal offense. The maximum penalty is a $250 fine. However, the most serious ramification of this charge is the the possibility of a criminal record.

The statute states in full:

If any person is intoxicated in public, whether such intoxication results from alcohol, narcotic drug, or other intoxicant or drug of whatever nature, he is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. In any area in which there is located a court-approved detoxification center, a law-enforcement officer may authorize the transportation, by police or otherwise, of public inebriates to such detoxification center in lieu of arrest; however, no person shall be involuntarily detained in such center.

While this charge may commonly be called “Drunk in Public,” it applies to intoxication from any substance, including marijuana.

What to do if charged with Public Intoxication in Virginia

You may be provided an option to “pre-pay” the fine. This is an admission of guilt, and will result in a criminal record. You will be given a court date at which you can appear with an attorney to contest the charge. Depending on the facts, this may something that your attorney can resolve without a trial. Specifically, coming to court prepared with completed community service, and a drug & alcohol abuse awareness course can go a long way to achieving a favorable outcome, but that will will ultimately depend on the exact circumstances of the incident. If the charge does go to trial, your attorney can argue about whether or not there is sufficient evidence of intoxication. Many times, when someone is arrested for public intoxication, there is not much in the way of concrete evidence, such as Field Sobriety Tests or a Breath Alcohol Test.

Hire a Public Intoxication Attorney in Northern Virginia

Our Client Focused Criminal Defense Team is prepared to help you with your Public Intoxication charge in Fairfax or elsewhere in Northern Virginia. We will take the time to learn about your concerns and how we can best defend you to avoid any further impact on your life.

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