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I was arrested for "drunk in public". Do I need a lawyer for this or is a Public Defender OK?

Stockton, CA |

I do not have any prior arrests or criminal back-round. I was drunk but they did not administer a breathalyser test or test me in any way. I don't usually drink and I am in the middle of a custody issue with a former girlfriend and am scared that she will find this out and it will hurt my case.

Attorney Answers 6


  1. A Public Defender is a lawyer !! In fact, they are probably the best legal representation you can have for a case like this since they are in court every single day. So, go for the PD.

    DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising. Liewen Law is fully compliant with every State and Federal Law, including California SB 94 and the related Civil Code Sections, as well as the FTC Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Final Rule. Liewen Law is a debt relief agency helping consumers file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code. Liewen Law maintains this website for marketing and informational purposes only. None of the information or materials on this site is legal advice. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Said information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While we make every effort to keep this site accurate and up to date, we do not guarantee its accuracy and are not responsible for inaccuracies, errors, or omissions.


  2. In order to have a public defender you need to pass the financial eligibility test. PDs are not free to anyone who requests them. In many jurisdictions, the court will review the financials at the end of the matter to determine if the pd needs to be paid. In the instances that the defendant is ordered to pay the pd, many times the cost for the pd may surpass what a private attorney would have charged.

    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


  3. Many of the PD's are excellent attorneys. Be sure & make the PD aware of your custody issue. Good luck

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.


  4. Yes you need an attorney. It is quite possible this can be turned into an infraction or offense with less consequences.


  5. A public defender is a great attorney. However, you should be aware that there might be diversion programs available for first-time offenders. (Depending on the facts of your case) Secondly, a drunk in public might have negative consequences in your family law case. You do not want to give your former girlfriend ammunition to use in your current custody battle.

    Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services. I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes


  6. Do you know for sure if the case was even filed? As a former DA, I would reject these cases all the time.. Just make sure you go to court on your arraignment, get the public defender and try to get this garbage dismissed or reduced to an infraction! Good luck.

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