Cecil County Disorderly Intoxication Lawyer
Consumption of alcohol is part of a tradition in historic Cecil County—the founding fathers even brewed, fermented and distilled their own intoxicating beverages. While federal, state and county laws regulate the sale and serving of alcoholic beverages, lawmakers do not typically have the right to regulate consumption for adults over the age of 21.
This does not stop law enforcement officials from making arrests for disorderly intoxication, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, or other charges. While these criminal charges may seem minor in comparison with violent felony crimes, a conviction for disorderly intoxication could create a criminal record that may wreak havoc with aspects of life for years to come.
It could be wise to consult a Cecil County disorderly intoxication lawyer to learn how to protect your rights. A knowledgeable defense attorney could help you fight the charges and work to keep your record clean.
Applicable Intoxication and Alcohol Consumption Laws
The term disorderly intoxication, which is also referred to as public intoxication or drunk in public, has been used to refer to Maryland Code Annotated, Alcohol Beverages §6-320. This section prohibits three types of actions, which a disorderly intoxication attorney in Cecil County could explain in detail.
Under section 6-320(a), an individual may not endanger the safety of another person or property while that individual is intoxicated. Section 6-320(b) prohibits causing a public disturbance either while consuming alcohol in a public place or while intoxicated in a public place.
A public place is not specifically defined in the statute. Public property is defined in Md Code Ann., Alc. Bev. §6-321 to include grounds owned or leased by the state or a local government entity. This statute prohibits consuming alcoholic beverages on public property and in also other places, which may include shopping malls, retail parking lots, and inside parked vehicles.
Violation of the disorderly intoxication provision is treated as a misdemeanor offense, and those convicted may be sentenced to up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $100. Consuming alcohol in public is also a potential criminal misdemeanor and violators may be fined up to $100. A seasoned criminal lawyer could explain which penalties a person may face for their charges.
State criminal laws prohibiting disorderly conduct may also be invoked against those who are believed to be intoxicated. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §10-201 describes several types of conduct that are prohibited as disorderly conduct. Individuals are not allowed to “willfully act in a disorderly manner that disturbs the public peace.”
This section defines a public place to include places where some or all members of the public have a right to access for a lawful purpose. Examples may include lobbies of hotels and apartments with more than three units, public sidewalks, restaurants, and buildings used to enter a means of public transportation such as a train station.
Disorderly conduct is considered a misdemeanor offense. Those convicted may be imprisoned for up to two months or fined up to $500 or both. Accused individuals could speak to a Cecil County disorderly intoxication lawyer for help with building a defense against allegations.
Talk to a Cecil County Disorderly Intoxication Attorney
While it may not seem likely that someone would be sentenced to imprisonment for disorderly intoxication, it could still be wise to plead guilty, pay a fine and try to forget the episode. An admission of guilt could create a criminal record that might make it difficult to obtain housing and interfere with job prospects.
Accused individuals are recommended to learn their options for fighting the charges. It may be possible to have charges reduced to a civil offense that does not create a criminal record. Or if charges are dismissed, it is important to learn about having the arrest records expunged.
A Cecil County disorderly intoxication lawyer may assist in many ways, from providing advice up front to providing full representation throughout the process. For a free consultation to learn more, call now.