Drunk in public in Arlington County Virginia may be charged under either the Virginia Code or the Arlington County Code. The Arlington Code states (in part):
Arlington County Code 17-7: Public Drunkenness and Profanity
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to be drunk or profanely to curse or swear in any public place in the County.
The Virginia code states:
Va. Code 18.2-388. Profane swearing and intoxication in public; penalty; transportation of public inebriates to detoxification center.
If any person profanely curses or swears or is intoxicated in public, whether such intoxication results from alcohol, narcotic drug or other intoxicant or drug of whatever nature, he shall be deemed 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.
Both charges are commonly referred to as “Drunk in Public” or “DIP.” While neither charge carries the possibility of a high jail sentence, a conviction for Drunk in Public can have other negative consequences. Many of our clients have never been charged with a crime before, and want to avoid creating a criminal record. They are concerned about future employment prospects and often either have or someday plan to obtain a security clearance for work.
Do you need a lawyer?
Handling your Drunk in Public case alone will likely not result in a high fine or jail sentence. However, there is a high risk of getting a criminal conviction. An experienced attorney can help you prepare fully for your court date in two ways. First, your lawyer should explore every possible defense and prepare to fight your case at trial. Second, your lawyer should work equally hard preparing extensive mitigation to present to the prosecutor before court. Our attorneys often negotiate outcomes to Drunk in Public cases that meet all of our client’s goals without the risk of having a trial.
Our experienced attorneys offer free consultations either in our office or by phone regarding Arlington Public Intoxication cases. Call us today at 703-822-4701.
Why do we offer free consultations?
When you have been charged with a crime, it is one of the most stressful moments of your life. Most people are just not sure what to expect and what steps they should take. In one conversation we can usually determine what the likely outcomes of your case are what you can do today to get the best outcome possible.
We got into this line of work because we wanted to help people. If we don’t think you need a lawyer, we will tell you so. We hope that you will still find our consultation helpful and will consider passing our name along to friends or family who find themselves facing a criminal or traffic charge in Northern Virginia some day.
If we do think you would benefit from having a criminal defense lawyer, we will tell you so. We can tell you about our particular qualifications and experience, and we hope that you will choose us as your lawyers for your case.