In California, public intoxication is not considered a crime. California law considers public intoxication to be a public health issue, rather than a criminal one.
Instead, California has a section 647(f) of the Penal Code that makes it an infraction to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs in a public place if the person is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or interferes with the use of a street, sidewalk or other public way.
However, being under the influence in public can lead to other crimes, like disorderly conduct, urinating in public, or if the person is a danger to self or others, someone can call 911 and the police may take them into protective custody under Welfare & Institutions Code section 5150.
It is also worth noting that even though public intoxication is not a criminal offense, it can be used as a factor that is taken into account if an individual is charged with a related crime such as disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct or even a DUI, in those cases it can be used as an enhancement for the crime committed.
The following may be charged as a result of public intoxication:
In California, disorderly conduct is a type of crime that is defined in the Penal Code as engaging in behavior that is likely to disturb the peace or provoke an immediate breach of the peace. Examples of disorderly conduct can include:
It's important to note that the above examples are not an exhaustive list, and a person can be charged with disorderly conduct for other types of behavior that is deemed to be disruptive to the peace in public.
The punishment for a disorderly conduct conviction can include fines and/or imprisonment, as well as community service. The specific penalty can vary depending on the circumstances and severity of the offense.
It's important to note that just because someone is being arrested for disorderly conduct doesn't mean that the person will be convicted, and the severity of the penalty will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the discretion of the court.
Urinating in Public
In California, urinating in public is considered a violation of Penal Code Section 647(i), which is also known as "public urination." It is considered a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both. The fine can be as much as $1,000 and the jail time can be as long as six months.
However, the enforcement of this law may vary from one city to another, some cities or municipalities may have stricter laws that may increase the fine and/or length of imprisonment.
Additionally, a conviction for public urination can have other consequences, such as a criminal record, which can affect one's ability to find employment or housing.
It is always recommended to use restrooms when they're available, but if they're not available it is important to be discreet and respectful of the community when using restrooms in public.
It's also important to note that some cities may have a Public Restroom availability crisis, where there are not enough public restrooms available. In those cases, the law enforcement may turn a blind eye to public urination, or even actively encourage the use of portable toilets or similar facilities.
Disturbing the Peace
In California, disturbing the peace is a type of crime defined in the Penal Code as engaging in behavior that is likely to disturb the peace or provoke an immediate breach of the peace. The specific law is Penal Code Section 415, it can include:
It's important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and one can be charged with disturbing the peace for other types of behavior that is deemed disruptive to the peace in public.
The punishment for disturbing the peace conviction can include fines and/or imprisonment, as well as community service. The specific penalty can vary depending on the circumstances and severity of the offense.
It's important to note that just because someone is being arrested for disturbing the peace doesn't mean that the person will be convicted, and the severity of the penalty will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the discretion of the court.
Additionally, the behaviors that constitute disturbing the peace may be interpreted in different ways by the law enforcement and the court, it's important to seek legal advice if you are facing charges of disturbing the peace.
Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law Group patiently await your call.