What Is Public Intoxication in New York?

To learn more about public intoxication charges in New York, continue reading and give our skilled Rockland County criminal defense attorney today.

What is protective custody in regard to public intoxication?

A police officer may take a person who is intoxicated (substantially impaired) as a result of alcohol or drugs to the person’s home or a treatment facility, but only if the person agrees.

If a person is incapacitated (unconscious or unable to make rational decisions about the person’s need for treatment), a police officer may take the person to a hospital or other facility for emergency care and treatment. The officer does not need an incapacitated person’s consent.

However, in the event that an individual is taken into protective custody against the person’s will, a doctor must analyze the person as soon as possible. The person can be kept in protective custody only if the doctor decides that the person poses a danger to him or herself or others. People must be released from protective custody when no longer dangerous or after 48 hours, whichever happens first.

What is public intoxication as a result of drugs?

In New York, a person commits a crime by appearing in public under the influence of narcotics or some other drug (other than alcohol) in the event that the person:

  • poses a danger to him or herself
  • poses a danger to others
  • poses a danger to property, or
    annoys others.

Keep in mind that a place is public if it is open to everyone or a substantial group of people. A person on a street or highway is in public even if the person is inside a private vehicle. For instance, a couple that is sitting in their car on a public street, high on drugs, and arguing could be charged with public intoxication.

Public intoxication due to drugs is a violation, punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.

What are some defenses for public intoxication?

  • There are some commonly taken defenses to public intoxication charges. An attorney may be able to lessen or get rid of charges for the offender by proving one or more of the following:
  • The defendant did not disrupt or cause harm to anyone else with their actions/behavior.
  • The defendant was in a place that was considered to be a private venue i.e not public.
  • Law enforcement present and on duty at the time of the arrest failed to follow the proper legal procedures.
  • Law enforcement has arrested the wrong person.
  • Public intoxication is not considered a crime in the jurisdiction where the defendant was charged.

Contact our experienced Rockland County firm

Those facing criminal charges in New York need a strong criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. Call today or contact The Law Office of Carl Spector online to schedule a free confidential consultation.