Virginia Criminal Defense Attorneys
Whether you’ve been charged with Drinking in Public, DUI or a traffic felony, drug possession or malicious wounding, our Virginia Criminal Defense Attorneys can help.
Drunk in Public: What Virginia Law Says
The Commonwealth of Virginia has a specific law on public intoxication. If you are in violation of the language of either law, you can be arrested and charged with being drunk in public.
Section 18.2-388 of the Virginia Code states that it is illegal to curse or swear “profanely” or to be intoxicated in public, either as a result of alcohol or drug intake. If there is a court-approved detoxification center near where you are apprehended by a police officer, s/he may transport you there rather than arrest you. This gives a fairly harmless drunken person the option of calming down and “drying out” rather than being charged with a crime.
No suspect has to remain at such a center, though, and some go back into a public area and are subsequently arrested. The law defines an area as “public” if it is “in open view, visible to the community” and can even include the defendant’s private property. Those found guilty of this offense face a fine of not more than $250, under state law.
Section 5-1-1 of Fairfax County law prohibits any person from being “drunk in public” or “profanely cursing or swearing.” The fine is $250 under county law as well, but if the same person is convicted of the offense three times within one year, the fine doubles to $500.
What a Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney Can Do For You
A good Virginia criminal defense attorney can dig into the details of your case and challenge the charges. Perhaps people around you misheard what you said, or maybe much of what you said was in jest and not as profane as reported. It could be that you were in a place that was not “public” after all. A competent Virginia criminal lawyer will interview witnesses, check to make sure that all normal, legal procedures were followed by the arresting officer, and build a strong case to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Robinson Law, PLLC is a criminal and traffic defense firm located in Manassas and Fairfax, Virginia. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing the best possible defense to both adults and juveniles throughout Northern Virginia. Our team has tackled a variety of cases, ranging from misdemeanor to serious felonies. Robinson Law focuses strictly on criminal and traffic cases in the Northern Virginia region. Our attorneys offer 24/7 free consultations with no time limit. Contact us today for a free consultation.