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What are the implications of a first time public intoxication? Can i leave the state/country?

Stanford, CA |

I'm a college senior. I was recently arrested for public intoxication. I was put in the drunk tank for 4 hours and then was released (no bail). My record is clean except for this. There is also suspected foul play (roofies and/or sexual assault) for which i cant remember anything. Tests were done, though nothing may be found. A couple questions I had:

1. Will I be able to leave the country? I am supposed to do a volunteering internship in honduras in a month.
2. I plan to apply for medical school. Will this affect anything?
3. Is there anything I can do to lessen my charges/have it removed?
4. Is there anyway to move my court date up?

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Attorney answers 3


At this point in time it appears you have been arrested for drunk in public penal code 647(f). Drunk in public is one of the most difficult crimes for a prosecutor to prove. For the prosecutor to prove you were guilty of the crime they must show that you were either a danger to yourself or others. Most prosecutors use the 4 P’s test [whether you puked, pissed/pooped yourself, passed out, or were pissed off (starting fights)]. If you do not qualify for one of the 4 P’s most prosecutors will not even file charges against you. If a prosecutor does decide to file charges (understand they have up to a year to file charges) they will be unlikely to want to take the case to a jury trial. Due to that fact the prosecutor will want to plea the case out. A decent criminal defense attorney will be able to have the charges either reduced to an infraction or dismissed completely through some fine and/or community service.
Unfortunately, until the prosecutor decides to file criminal charged against you there is no real way to advance the court date. You most likely received an arraignment date from the police officer that arrested you. It is important to check with the court and/or prosecutor if criminal charges were filed against you.
Yes, you are free to travel and leave the country, just make sure that either you or your attorney makes all court appearances. If you are not convicted of the crime you typically do not have to provide any arrest records to medical schools. I am not sure what tests were done to determine if you were roofied , but I have to assume you mean a blood draw was taken. This of course can be used as a bargaining chip with the prosecutor. I would speak with a criminal law attorney in your area.
Robert Driessen


PC 647(f) requires that the police attempt to civilly commit you rather than arrest and charge you. If that is what happened you are good to go.

If when you were released from jail, the police gave you a citation to appear in court, then you need to contemplate the consequences.

1. Yes. In a misdemeanor you can hire an attorney who will make all appearances for you.
2. A charge probably won't, a conviction may.
3. Yes. Hire an attorney and fight the charges.
4. Probably not. See answer 1: a lawyer can make all appearances for you.

Edward J. Blum


Get a Criminal law specialist at once in the county in which you were arrested. The 647 may not be filed. If so a good attorney may get it dismissed or sest it for jury and force the DA to dismiss. You cannot afford to have anything on your record if you have the plans you listed. Go to AVVO or california dui lawyers association to find a specialist. If you lose you can have your record expunged but with a good lawyer and a few bucks no one is convicted of public intoxication and no DA nor judge will wast the taxpayers money trying to convict you. Joe Vandervoort DUIKING 38 years experience

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