Drunk in public is commonly charged in Fairfax County, Virginia. The behavior that leads to this charge varies widely. Drunk in public in Fairfax County Virginia may be charged under either the Virginia Code or the Fairfax County Code. The Fairfax Code states (in part):
Fairfax County Code Section 5-1-1. Drunkenness and profane swearing.
A. If any person profanely curse or swear or be drunk in public he shall be deemed guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
The Virginia code states:
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 in Fairfax County are commonly referred to as "Drunk in Public" or "DIP." While neither charge carries the possibility of a 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.
Handling your Drunk in Public case alone will likely not result in a high fine or a 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. 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 Fairfax Public Intoxication cases. Call us today at 703-822-4701.