Prince George’s County Disorderly Intoxication Lawyer
Disorderly intoxication does not sound like a criminal offense that should cause much concern. But the fact is that having any criminal offense on your record can cause problems with employment, housing, and even your social life. So, in many cases, it makes sense to fight the charges. A Prince George’s County disorderly intoxication lawyer could provide advice and representation to defend your rights and help minimize the impact of any consequences. When you work with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, they could serve as your advocate and fight on your behalf at all stages of the proceedings to help reach a positive outcome.
Penalties for Disorderly Intoxication and Related Offenses
Intoxication while endangering the safety of another or causing a public disturbance, also referred to a disorderly intoxication, is treated as a criminal misdemeanor in Prince George’s County. Those convicted may be sentenced to up to three months in jail or a fine of up to $100 or both.
Consuming alcohol in a public place is also a misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $100. Disorderly conduct is penalized similarly to disorderly intoxication. Although the maximum term of imprisonment is somewhat less at 60 days, the maximum fine increases to $500.
Disorderly or Public Intoxication Statute
Md. Code. Ann. Alc. Bev. §6-320 prohibits certain disorderly actions involving consumption of alcohol. Subsection (1) makes it illegal for an individual to endanger the safety of another person or the property of another while that individual is intoxicated.
Subsection (2) prohibits individuals from causing a “public disturbance” while intoxicated. It also prohibits causing a public disturbance while drinking alcohol in public, even if the person involved is not intoxicated.
It is not always clear what constitutes a public disturbance, so those accused of the offense may be able to successfully argue that conduct complained of did not rise to the level necessary for violating the statute. Despite the circumstances of a person’s arrest, an experienced Prince George’s County disorderly intoxication lawyer could advocate on their behalf in court and look out for their best interests.
Illegal Consumption of Alcohol in Public
Even if there are no signs of intoxication or disorderly conduct, it is still possible to violate the law if someone is consuming alcohol in a public place. Md. Code Ann., §6-321 prohibits public consumption of alcohol in places such as public parks, public transportation, privately owned shopping malls, and retail parking lots.
The law specifically excludes chartered buses and mobile homes equipped with central heat and toilets that can be used as living facilities. The law also excludes situations where the owner of the property authorizes consumption of alcohol.
Disorderly Conduct Laws
Disorderly intoxication could also be addressed under the state statute prohibiting disorderly conduct, found at Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §10-201. In Prince George’s County, this statute prohibits five types of behaviors that could be considered disorderly:
- Willfully acting in a disorderly manner that disturbs the public peace
- Willfully failing to obey a lawful order from a police officer
- Entering the premises of another and willfully disturbing the peace or acting in a disorderly manner
- Willfully disturb the peace of another by making an unreasonably loud noise in public or on the premises of another
- Willfully obstructing the passage of another person in public
For more information about disorderly conduct laws, reach out to a dedicated defense lawyer.
Speak with a Prince George’s County Disorderly Intoxication Attorney
Are you likely to be imprisoned for a first-time disorderly intoxication offense? Probably not. But that does not mean it is a good idea to plead guilty.
A guilty plea leads to a conviction which creates a criminal record. And a criminal record will appear in background checks for years to come. Since background checks are now a routine part of life when it comes to everything from employment to dating, a criminal conviction could cause irreparable harm, even when the offense is minor.
So, it is worthwhile to consult a Prince George’s County disorderly intoxication lawyer to learn your options for protecting your rights and fighting the charges. For a consultation to learn how a criminal defense lawyer could assist in your situation, call now.