Drunk in Public Charges in California

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Drunk in public. Photo credit, SCV Bail BondsCalifornia Penal Code PC 647 (f)

Drunk in public charges in California are covered under California Penal Code PC 647 (f).

It is  described as: “being so intoxicated that you cannot exercise care for your safety or the safety of others, are interfering or obstructing others’ use of public walkways and/or streets.”

However, just being drunk while out in public is not in itself a crime. The problem is, when one has had so much to drink that they are incapable of controlling their actions, or are otherwise causing a public disturbance, that drunk in public charges will apply.

If you are in search for a bail bond for someone arrested on these charges, call us 24 hours a day at 877-422-4591. Or contact us at one of our local numbers closest to you. We can answer any questions, and get the bail bond process started right away.

Overview of Drunk in Public Charges in California

In order to be charged with public intoxication, three criteria must be met. They are:

  1. That one is willfully under the influence of drugs, alcohol or some other controlled substance. Willfully is the key word here, meaning that the individual intended to consume the substance and was not drugged by someone else.
  2. The individual was in a public place while they were intoxicated and,
  3. the individual was unable to exercise care for their own safety or the safety of others and/or interfering with or obstructing public walkways, streets, etc.
Penalties and Sentencing

Under California Law, drunk in public is a misdemeanor. The typical penalties include: informal probation, up to 6 months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, the penalties do get worse for those who are repeatedly convicted of drunk in public.

For instance, those who are convicted 3 or more times in a 12 month period will face a minimum of 90 days in jail. The court will sometimes suspend this portion of the sentence for individuals who choose to instead spend 60 days at an alcohol treatment center.

Sometimes, law enforcement will opt not to go through the court process at all for arrestees who are charged with drunk in public and will instead hold them in “civil protective custody” or what is commonly referred to as the “drunk tank.” The duration of this custody will last no longer than 72 hours and will be a period in which an individual is held for treatment and observation.

On the plus-side, if police choose “civil protective custody” for an individual, the prosecutor cannot file charges against the offender for being drunk in public. The bad news is that many cities and counties in the State of California do not have proper facilities i.e. a “drunk tank” so the option is not available to all law enforcement officers.

Also, “civil protective custody” is not an option for individuals who are under the influence of drugs, or drugs and alcohol. It is reserved only for those who are under the influence of alcohol and nothing else.

Bail Cost and Payment Information

In the state of California, the bail amount is set at 10%.  For example, if the bail for being drunk in public was set at $10,000, the fee for release from jail will be $1,000. With our company, you won’t have to deal with any surprise hidden fees, additional finance charges or taxes.

For payment, we accept cash, major credit cards, business and personal checks. Additionally, we offer flexible payment arrangements with your good credit or home ownership. Just give us a call and we’ll let you know if you qualify within minutes. We’ll work to make paying for a bond as comfortable for your family as possible.

Our licensed bondsmen are happy to meet you at your home, work or the jail. We also process bonds by email or fax – whatever is most convenient for you. A licensed, professional bondsman is standing by 24/7 to answer any questions you have.

If you require more information on bail bonds for drunk in public charges in California, call us any time at 877-422-4591. Or contact us at one of our local numbers closest to you! A licensed, professional bail bondsman is available to take your call and immediately answer any questions you may have.