So I was leaving a Pita Pit shop after a good night downtown with friends. My girlfriend sister was outside to picks us up for the night. We head outside and we see her park on the side of the street with her 4 ways on. I see that there is a cop who drives up beside her and tells her that she can't park there and tells her to move. I yell to the cop thats she's picking us up it's okay, keep driving. He didn't like that I guess, everyone gets in the van and I'm last to get in and all of the cops hop out and arrest me for public intoxication. I said are you serious, he said you should've kept your mouth shut. One of the cops there was even saying "come on to the cop "he was going home." I was never read my rights or breatherlyzed. Can I fight this because I wasn't drunk enough to be arrested
Minimal confrontation with many law enforcement officers can lead them to take unwarranted action against you. Most lawyers, from dealing with clients who have been in similar circumstances, know that it is not wise to confront law enforcement outside the courtroom. I have been told the same thing by many police officers who are pulled for speeding, etc....always be respectful because you have no leverage at the time of arrest. Your short-term fate rests totally in their hands.
First, you should hire an attorney. A PA attorney who understands the system may be able to mitigate damages that have been done. You can fight the charge, but you should weight the costs (penalties, court costs, impact on your record) against the benefits of fighting what is probably a misdemeanor charge. Good luck. There are many excellent PA attorneys on AVVO who could assist you.
This response does not create an attorney client relationship nor should the advice be relied upon because it is not specific to your legal situation. Before you depend on legal advice, you should retain competent counsel.
The police officer must establish more than mere "intoxication." The public intoxication statute has very specific elements which must be met "beyond a reasonable doubt."
"A person is guilty of a summary offense if he appears in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, as defined in the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), [FN1] known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, except those taken pursuant to the lawful order of a practitioner, as defined in the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, to the degree that he may endanger himself or other persons or property, or annoy persons in his vicinity."
Unless you were subject to questioning after the arrest, law enforcement need not read you your rights. Law enforcement need not test your breath to establish the elements of the offense.
Having a "pissing contest" with a cop is never a good idea. You are at a disadvantage to their authority on the street. The courtroom is a place where the playing field is level, particularly with the assistance of a good criminal defense lawyer.
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