SKILLED IN PUBLIC INTOXICATION CASES
IN OHIO, PUBLIC INTOXICATION IS NOT ITSELF A CRIMINAL OFFENSE UNDER STATE LAW
According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 70 percent of American adults report that they consumed alcohol within the last year. Having a few drinks in a public place — whether at a restaurant or a stadium — is normal behavior, and certainly not a criminal act. Can you actually be arrested for being drunk in public in Ohio?
Generally, no — at least not technically. In Ohio, public intoxication is not itself a criminal offense under state law. However, the behavior of a visibility intoxicated person generally gets additional scrutiny from law enforcement. There are many seemingly ordinary behaviors — sometimes even simple things like talking too loudly — that could get a person arrested for disorderly conduct. This is sometimes referred to a ‘public intoxication’ charge as a shorthand.
At Groth & Associates, our skilled Toledo public intoxication lawyers have extensive experience representing people throughout Northwest Ohio. We serve everyone, from professionals to college students. If you were charged with public intoxication in Toledo, please give us a call today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We will protect your legal rights.
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OHIO PUBLIC INTOXICATION CHARGES: DRUNK AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT
In Ohio, public intoxication is not technically a criminal offense — at least at the statewide level. Though, local jurisdictions sometimes have their own, more strict laws on the books. However, at the statewide level, public intoxication in Ohio is charged under Ohio Rev. Code § 2917.11. This is the state’s disorderly conduct statute. Under this law, a person can be charged with a crime if they are voluntarily intoxicated and they do either of the following two things in a public place:
- Engage in conduct that is likely to be offensive, inconvenient, annoying, or alarming to a sensible person; or
- Engage in conduct that creates risk to another person, the offender, or to private/public property.
As you likely have noticed, Ohio’s disorderly conduct statute is written in a broad manner. While you cannot be charged under state law for being ‘drunk’ in public, you can be charged if that drunkenness is deemed offensive or risky. In practice, this means that officers have wide discretion to make arrests for drunken behavior.
Note: Under Ohio state law, law enforcement officers also have the authority to take an intoxicated person into protective custody. This is not an arrest. However, law enforcement has the authority to enter an intoxicated person into a substance abuse treatment program for up to 48 hours. Though, when a person sobers up, they are allowed to leave protective custody.
OTHER PRACTICE AREA CASES
THE PENALTIES FOR DRUNK AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT IN OHIO
YOU WILL GENERALLY BE FACING A MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A $150 FINE
If you have been charged with drunk and disorderly conduct, you will generally be facing a misdemeanor offense. Generally, this a minor misdemeanor that is punishable by a $150 fine and does not carry any jail time. Though this may not seem like a serious offense, you generally should not plead guilty without speaking to a lawyer. You do not want a criminal record.
Notably, if your public intoxication offense is upgraded to ‘aggravated disorderly conduct’, then you need to contact an experienced Toledo defense lawyer immediately. Aggravated disorderly conduct can be punished by up to 30 days in jail.
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HOW OUR TOLEDO CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS CAN HELP
Our Toledo criminal defense lawyers have deep experience representing clients who have been arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct and other related offenses. In many cases, public intoxication arrests — and the subsequent disorderly conduct charges — occur after minor, even one-time lapses in judgment. For example, a person might be charged for being intoxicated at a college party or tailgate when police are frustrated with the overall situation and are ‘on edge’.
With a public intoxication charge, our Toledo criminal defense lawyers focus on protecting our client’s future and keeping their record clean. In many cases, drunken disorderly conduct charges can be negotiated into something less severe or they can be dropped outright. If you or your child was arrested for public intoxication, our legal team is prepared to take action to provide protection against any long-term, adverse consequences that could follow from this minor mistake.
GET HELP FROM A PUBLIC INTOXICATION LAWYER IN TOLEDO
At Groth & Associates, our Ohio criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience handling public intoxication charges. If you or your loved one was arrested for public intoxication, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm for a free, fully private initial consultation. With an office in Toledo, we represent clients throughout Lucas County, including in Maumee, Oregon, Sylvania, and Waterville.