What happens if I am arrested for being drunk in public? 14 Answers as of July 19, 2012

I was arrested for drunk in public, and the paperwork says that I was charged with drunk in public on one page, and another the booking paper says disorder conduct: alcohol, and another paper that says I was taken into custody and was detention only and not an arrest. It is circled on the bottom saying I was arrested for intoxication only and no further proceedings are desireable. Does this mean I have no misdemeanor or other related charges against me or will I still have to appear in court?

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Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
If you were given a court date to appear at, you are being prosecuted for a crime. Make sure you didn't overlook it in the paperwork. If you didn't get one yet, you may still get a letter in the mail advising you of a court date. The charges actually filed will determine how much time and fines could potentially be imposed. You'll learn the actual charge[s] and any enhancements filed and get copies of all the police reports, evidence and test results when appearing for arraignment at the first court hearing. The prosecutors can amend at any time they believe they can prove additional or different charges. In California, if convicted of any felony, you potentially face one or more years in prison, plus fines; on any misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 12 months in jail, plus fines. Priors and strikes will add penalty enhancements under the 3-Strikes rules. If this constitutes a probation violation, factor those new violation charge[s] and old deferred sentence[s] in as well. You are always entitled to represent yourself in court. Whether you should is a different issue. The conventional wisdom is that an attorney will be able to do a better job and get a better outcome. Prosecutors and judges don't like dealing with ProPers, unless you are simply pleading guilty, not defending the case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2012
Law Offices of James H. Dippery, Jr. | James H. Dippery, Jr.
From what you have stated, it does appear that law enforcement considers this a detention only and not an arrest, so there will be no criminal charges or conviction on your record this time. Try to avoid public intoxication in the future.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2012
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
It means the circumstances of your arrest will not be forwarded to the District Attorney for prosecution in court. Since you were not given a court date there is nothing for you to do. In addition, you are allowed to say you were not arrested on this occasion.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2012
Law Offices of Patricia M. Corrales
Law Offices of Patricia M. Corrales | Patricia M. Corrales
If you were arrested for public intoxication, you could be charged with a misdeameanor for disorderly conduct; however, if the paper you received states detention only then, under California law, it is not considered an arrest. If the document you received further states no further proceedings then that tells me that no charges will be filed against you. This advise is, of course, predicated on the notion that the factual statements you provided below are accurate. If the facts as you describe them are correct, you should count yourself lucky and try to refrain from putting yourself in a situation that would result in you being arrested.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2012
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
If the papers your received from the police do not show a court date, the chances are you lucked out and will not be prosecuted and will not have a criminal record. However, the D.A. can still file charges against you within 1 year of your arrest. If they do, you will receive a letter from the court telling you when and where to appear in court.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/18/2012
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    You paperwork should have a court date on it. If it doesn't, then you don't need to go to court unless you receive notice from the court or the DA. Rather than have attorneys online guess about your situation, you should just contact a criminal defense lawyer in your area for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2012
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Sounds like the case was not charged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    I cannot tell you go to the DA's office nearest the city where you were arrested to find out if charges are being filed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Check your citation to see if there is a court date. If there is then yes you need to be in court (or your attorney does).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    If you were not given a date upon release, then check your mail as sometimes they just send notice of a court appearance by mail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2012
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Do you have a citation with your promise to appear at a set court date? If so, you or your attorney needs to be there just in case charge(s) are filed. You or your attorney can also check with the criminal court or prosecutors office to verify if charges are filed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2012
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp.
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp. | Todd Landgren
    You are correct. The form confirms that you were only "detained" and that you were never actually arrested, even though they took ou into custody. No charges will be filed and you can truthfully answer that you were not arrested in this matter. No court appearance will be necessary.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2012
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    You lucked out. They decided to cut you a break and release you pursuant to Penal Code 849(b). That means you were taken in, sobered up and they aren't going to forward the case over to the DA for prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2012
    Law Office of George M. Derieg
    Law Office of George M. Derieg | George Derieg
    Well, it's hard to tell. Were you given a notice to appear in court? Usually when you are detained/arrested the police officer will cite you and give you a date to be in court. This isn't always he case however, the police officer may very well release you without requiring you to sign a promise to appear in court and just forward his report to the local district attorney's office. That office may very well decide to charge you with being drunk in public and you may get a notice to appear in court in the future. If you are not contacted by the district attorney's office within one year of the date you were detained/arrested, then you shouldn't worry. If you are actually charged with being drunk in pubic fight the case. The law on drunk in public is one of the few areas of law that is difficult for a district attorney to prove in court. I say fight it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/10/2012
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