If you’ve ever been out drinking in Tennessee, you may have wondered what could happen if you get too drunk and wind up causing a disturbance. In this blog post, we’ll discuss public intoxication laws in Tennessee, and provide some tips on how to handle yourself around police if you’re potentially facing public intoxication charges. We’ll also talk about how a criminal defense lawyer can help you if you’re facing public intoxication charges.
What Are Public Intoxication Laws In Tennessee?
In Tennessee, public intoxication is defined as appearing in a public place while under the influence of an intoxicating or controlled substance to the point that the person may be an endangerment to themselves, other people, or property; or if the offender unreasonably annoys people in the vicinity. For example, if you’re stumbling around drunk and causing a disturbance, or if you’re so drunk that you can’t stand up on your own, a police officer could charge you with public intoxication.
Can You Go To Jail For Public Intoxication In Tennessee?
Public intoxication is a criminal offense in Tennessee, and anyone convicted of this crime can face jail time and fines. The exact penalties that you may face will depend on the details of your specific case, such as the nature of the offense and any prior criminal history. Individuals charged with with this crime in Tennessee may be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail and/or fined up to $50. Additionally, a court may order you to attend alcohol or drug counseling as part of your sentence.
Can You Be Arrested For Public Intoxication Even If You Haven’t Done Anything Wrong?
Yes. It’s possible to be arrested for public intoxication even if you haven’t done anything wrong. For example, if you’re out drinking and having a good time, and a police officer thinks that your level of intoxication seems suspicious or alarming, he or she may arrest you for public intoxication based on their own judgment. The same could happen if you’re simply walking down the street while drunk and a police officer becomes concerned about your well-being.
What Should I Do If I’m Arrested For Public Intoxication?
If you’re arrested for public intoxication, it’s best to stay calm and cooperate with the police. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re arrested:
- Remember that you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions or make any statements to police, and anything you say can potentially be used against you in court.
- Be polite and respectful to the police officers. Yelling or protesting will not help your case, and it will only make the situation more difficult for everyone involved.
- Ask to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. You have the right to have an attorney present during any post-arrest questioning, and it’s important to have legal representation if you’re facing criminal charges.
Can You Expunge A Public Intoxication Charge In Tennessee?
Yes, you can expunge a public intoxication charge in Tennessee if you meet the eligibility requirements. To be eligible for expungement, you must not have been convicted of any other crimes within a certain period of time before or after the offense. If you successfully complete probation without incident, and you do not have any other criminal convictions on your record during the required time period, you may be able to get the offense expunged from your record. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the expungement process and determine whether you may be eligible to have your charge expunged.
What Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer Do If You’re Charged With Public Intoxication In Tennessee?
If you’re facing public intoxication charges in Tennessee, it’s important to speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal defense lawyer can help build your case and ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law. In some cases, a lawyer may be able to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced, and in other cases he or she may be able to negotiate a favorable plea deal on your behalf. To learn more about how a criminal defense lawyer can help with your case, contact Barnes and Fersten Law Firm today.
Attorney At Law, Managing Partner
Brandon D. Fersten is an esteemed Knoxville attorney practicing DUI, criminal defense, and juvenile law. Known for his empathetic approach and commitment to his clients, he brings a record of favorable case outcomes including dismissals and not guilty verdicts at jury trials resulting in Brandon being recognized as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” in Criminal Defense, U.S. News’ Best Lawyers: “Ones to Watch,” and Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars”. Brandon’s professional accolades, combined with his passion for justice, position him as a reliable criminal defense advocate in the East Tennessee legal landscape.