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Please Help - Public Intoxication

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? California

If someone could please offer some advice and information about my public intoxication case I would be very grateful.

I received a public intoxication citation, and it is my first offense. It is sort of a strange case because I was in someone's car when they arrested me. What happened was I was drunk leaving a bar, and I was trying to find a cab. As I was standing on the street, I started talking to this guy and after a while he said he could give me a ride because it was only a few blocks and he was headed that way. We left, and after a few blocks he was pulled over by the police. It came out that he had a warrant out for his arrest, but I am not sure for what. So the police pull me out of the car, start asking me questions, and they have a hard time believeing that I have never met this guy before. Anyway, the driver's and my story matched up so they ended up believing me, but they said they were going to take me in for public intoxication. I asked them why saying that I wasn't in public, and they responded with, "you are now". I know the situation is my fault, and you shouldn't take a free ride with a stranger, but I am confused on what I should do. I ended up spending the night in jail, and they assigned me a court date the next day. My court date is very soon (within the next three days), and I don't have the money for a lawyer. Can I plead "Not guilty" with the public defender because I would like to now have it on my record? But the last thing I want is to have to pay an enormous fee and serve jail time, and I saw that under California Benchguides the penalty can be 6 months and/or $1,000. Will I receive a penalty that severe? If I plead guilty will I get a lesser sentence? Please help. Thanks.
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garrula lingua

Senior Member
That's a righteous arrest.

Once the driver was arrested, there you were - 'drunk in publlic' aka unable to care for yourself/ your welfare.

These are just 'keep the community clean' misdemeanor charges.
Most jurisdictions in So Cal are doing some probation period and credit time served; others are asking for some AA meetings as a conditon of probation.

You could consider appearing 'in pro per' - representing yourself - and ask if you can speak to the Prosecutor about a disposition.
If the plea bargain is too harsh, ask for a Public Defender (if you qualify) or ask for a continuance (don't plead - just continue the Arraignment and Plea) to speak with an atty.

Good luck (good for you, you weren't driving!).


Garralla farralla Kniggalla

Sorry that is something we say when we cannot believe something in this mill is true!! This is really True?

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Senior Member
Many counties just resolve the matter as "settled by arrest" and don't pursue the charges. Or, they go with time served.

It's not that big of an issue as Garrula mentioned.

- Carl

garrula lingua

Senior Member
Carl is referring to an '849b' :
arrest, let them sober up & release them.

Good idea, but for CYA reasons, many are filed and resolved with a quick plea.

Whatever the Prosecution asks for, why don't you try (respectfully) & ask if you can do 24 AA meetings @ rate of 3 a week (or more) and return (in 9 weeks) for a dismissal...point out that you have a clean record and you are anxious to keep it clean. It can't hurt to try.

Caveman: great commercial.


Garrula Great advice

Carl, Great as always.

I guess sometimes I am glad I was thawed.

This century does make great coffee.

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