Whether it is at a public park or grocery store, people who are eligible to consume alcoholic beverages are rightfully able to express themselves freely in public. Unfortunately, many cases of mere excitement can be perceived as disorderly intoxication. Disorderly intoxication can carry severe consequences that may impact job eligibility, professional licensing, as well as acceptance to educational institutions. If you've been charged with disorderly intoxication in Gainesville, contact The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates for a free initial consultation with a qualified criminal defense attorney.
What Is Disorderly Intoxication?
In the State of Florida, the general crime of disorderly intoxication is governed by Florida Statute § 856.011. Florida law states that no person “shall be intoxicated and endanger the safety of another person or property, and no person … shall be intoxicated or drink any alcoholic beverage in a public place or in or upon any public conveyance and cause a public disturbance.” In order to be charged with disorderly intoxication, three considerations must be proved in a court of law.
- He or she was intoxicated
- Caused a clear disturbance in a public place
- Endangered the safety of other individuals and/or property
By definition under § 856.011, intoxication occurs when an individual has lost or was deprived control over his or her body as well as his or her mental faculties. An admission of consumption of an alcoholic beverage cannot substantiate an allegation of intoxication.
Penalties For Disorderly Intoxication
A disorderly intoxication charge is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. The penalties to an individual charged with and convicted of disorderly intoxication include up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and/or up to $500 in fines. What’s more, local Law Enforcement has full and absolute discretion on whether to issue what is called a “Notice to Appear” or arrest an individual at the time of the offense. The former option allows the individual to remain outside of custody, but he or she must later attend a court event for the charge.
Some people may consider the charge a minor offense, but being convicted of disorderly intoxication is a criminal offense with significant long-term consequences. If you were arrested for disorderly conduct or disorderly intoxication, contact our Gainesville attorneys to discuss your case.
College Students & Disorderly Intoxication
We see disorderly intoxication cases regularly due to Gator Football games and the prevalence of bars and clubs frequented by students who attend the University of Florida and/or Santa Fe College. Individuals who are of age to legally consume alcohol have the right to enjoy adult beverages at his or her discretion.
Because disorderly intoxication is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor in the State of Florida, it's extremely important that students and non-students who are charged with this crime — whether on campus or within another public place — seek professional legal representation immediately. Contact us today to speak with an experienced Gainesville criminal attorney.