Do I need an attorney for a drunk in public charge? 46 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I got a drunk in public I have no previous arrests or anything on my record. Do I need a lawyer?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Yes, I'd recommend you retain a lawyer. Anyone charged with an offense is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Simply because a person is charged does not mean that they will ultimately be convicted. Anyone charged with an offense has a right to council. DUI convictions carry license sanctions that may drag on for years. Further, this type of offense is punishable by jail time, probation, and it cannot be expunged under the current law. It is worth the investment to obtain good, competent council given the potential consequences.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/8/2011
Keyser Law Firm
Keyser Law Firm | Christopher W. Keyser
You don't necessarily need a lawyer but hiring one may be a smart idea for purposes of keeping your record clean. Jail time is most likely not going to be an issue in your case. Instead, making sure this offense isn't permanently on your record should be your goal. You may have a difficult time accomplishing this without the help of an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 10/18/2011
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
A person has the right to represent themselves in court. The People in a criminal matter are represented by the prosecuting attorney who is an attorney. If you feel you have a working knowledge of the court procedure, the court rules and the rules of evidence, you should do fine representing yourself.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/14/2011
Shane Law Office
Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
I would advise retaining a lawyer on any criminal charge. You don't want to risk a jail sentence by representing yourself.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 10/14/2011
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
Yes. If you do not hire an attorney you will have to be present at every court hearing. Furthermore, you have a better chance at getting your misdemeanor reduced to an infraction.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/12/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It's not required that you have one, but it's not a bad idea. It's always good to have an attorney review the case against you to determine if there are any errors that could reduce the charges or get them dismissed. A good lawyer will also be able to tell you what is a good deal and what isn't.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    There is no such law in the NYS Penal Law. You either got arrested on some type of local ordinance or were charged with something else like Disorderly Conduct. You don't need a lawyer for anything. You have a Constitutional right to defend yourself. But I'd be a liar if I didn't say a lawyer is always better.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Levine & McHenry LLC
    Levine & McHenry LLC | Matthew McHenry
    It's up to you, but generally anytime you are charged with a crime, retaining an attorney is a good idea.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
    You need an attorney if you need help getting through the system.An attorney is there to protect your rights.If you know your rights, and can work the case out with the prosescutor, then you don't need an attorney.Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    Yes, get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    You probably do not need a lawyer for court but I would probably consult an attorney prior to court so that you know what you are in for.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    That would be up to you to decide. You don't have to have an attorney, but if there is any legal defenses you may have and not know about, you may want to consult with an attorney prior to making any decisions.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    If you want to avoid possible jail and a criminal record, that is a great idea.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law
    Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law | Theresa Hofmeister
    Generally that charge (PC 647(f)) is a misdemeanor so it is best to consult with a local criminal defense attorney in your area. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Sounds like you need a cold beer and a good lawyer. I will work for bud light. Call my secretary for a time to meet me. Often times there are facts that prohibit conviction. Alternatively, if you were not too big of a problem for the police, sometimes we can get a good behavior dismissal. Just call my secretary Chrissy, to set an appointment to review the facts, that you can recollect, with me.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    Generally I say that everyone needs a lawyer if they have been charged with a crime. You could probably use one here, however this is the kind of charge that you can get away with using the public defender if you cannot afford a private lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    If you want to fight the charge, you assuredly need counsel. If you agree with the charge and events, most courts give mere hand-slap treatment for public drunkenness, so you probably do not need counsel, unless they try to hang you with a misdemeanor conviction. If they press misdemeanor, you need counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Without an attorney you are most likely going to be convicted and have a record on account of this. Perhaps an attorney can prevent this from happening.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    Unless the facts are really really bad, or you want to fight it, probably not. Unless you urinated on a police car or did something else ridiculous, you will likely receive a fine, or worst case scenario a short probation. However, with that said, if you want to make sure you get the best result possible and do not end up going to AA for six months, you may want to consider at least consulting with a local criminal defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. You should get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Probably not, as this sounds like a city ordinance violation, not a misdemeanor criminal charge. If the court informs you otherwise, then retain a lawyer, but I think you can handle this one on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Armand Fried
    Obviously, you are better off with a lawyer but this is hardly a "hanging offense." If you represent your self you are likely to get the same deal as an attorney will get you. Go to Court on your appointed day and see what they offer you. If you do not accept it you can get a trial date.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You should. An experienced lawyer may be able to negotiate a reduction or dismissal, since it is a relatively minor charge. Representing yourself probably means a guilty plea, and it is still a misdemeanor that will show up on your criminal record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Zwiebel
    Yes, any time you are arrested, you need an attorney to protect your rights and get you the best deal. In some cases charges can be dismissed with the help of an attorney holding the police up to the correct standards to protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    Most reasonable prosecutors will allow this case to be dismissed if you go to a few AA meetings. If they do not offer that settlement, retain a criminal lawyer in your area and fight the case. They will not want to waste a trial court on this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Probably not but generally you do better with a lawyer as he might be able to talk the DA into dropping it or reducing the charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC | Duncan T Pham
    It all depends on which court you are in.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    Any time you are charged criminally it is wise to have an attorney. There are many collateral consequences to any conviction and an attorney will best protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Chances are you will be eligible for Diversion. You should know that there is not a charge of Drunk in Public. You were probably charged with Disorderly Conduct.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Richard B. Huttner, P.C.
    Richard B. Huttner, P.C. | Richard Huttner
    You always have the right to an attorney. People should use this right whether guilty as charged or innocent to protect their rights and resolve the matter with the best possible resolution.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    I would recommend hiring an attorney to represent you in this case in order to fight and possibly reduce the charges or potential consequences.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    A drunk in public charge is normally a minor case. When you go to court for your arraignment you will find what the penalties will be. At that time you can accept the penalty by pleading guilty or plead not guilty and come back at a later date. Without knowing all the facts I cannot tell you if you need an attorney or not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Anderson Walsh PLLC
    Anderson Walsh PLLC | STACI LYNN ANDERSON
    It is never advisable to go into court without an attorney. An attorney can help you evaluate the facts of your case, negotiate with the prosecutor, and speak for you in court likely getting you a better outcome than you could achieve by yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You should retain a good criminal attorney any time you are charged with any crime or violation. You do not want to get a conviction for any violation or misdemeanor since this could hurt your chances of getting a good job or career.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    I would advise it because the charge is a jailable offense. An attorney may also be able to work a deal on your behalf that may keep the matter from being a permanent part of your record.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    It would be wise to seek to preserve your record. Even a public intoxication charge may affect your record in significant ways and hinder you in any job search, apartment search pr application for higher education. Often, an attorney may assist in seeking a Stay of the Prosecution preventing any criminal conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    I would recommend speaking to an attorney. Anything that you can do to avoid a criminal record is well justified.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Might help make it an infraction. Which will not happen if it is just you, the DA and judge in front of others in an open court room.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    The Salas Firm
    The Salas Firm | Ron Salas
    No probably not. Talk to the DA on your first appearance and if you are not given a plea bargain you can live with ask for time to consult a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC | Louis Leibowitz
    You should definitely consult with an attorney. Even minor charges can have unforeseen consequences down the road.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Iti s alawys a good idea to have an attorney if you have been charged with a crime.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    I would get one. Being drunk and disorderly is a criminal offense that normally stays on your record for the rest of your life. An attorney could help avoid you getting a criminal conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Stevens Law Office, PLC
    Stevens Law Office, PLC | Ryan Stevens
    It is always advisable to have a lawyer when you are charged with a crime. Many things can go wrong in your case; also, an attorney can help you identify possible constitutional violations that could win your case.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    It is always a wise decision to go with an attorney, the reason being attorney's know more about the law than you do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
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