Being drunk in public is not a crime—as long as you are legally old enough to drink. In the State of Colorado, the legal age to purchase and consume alcohol is 21. As long as you are 21, you cannot be arrested simply for being drunk in public. What you can be arrested for, however, is drunk and disorderly conduct or disorderly intoxication. There is considerable gray area here in this law, and it is based on the subjective nature of the police officers at the time of the arrest. As such, it is imperative that you retain an experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer immediately after you are arrested for disorderly intoxication.
Disorderly Behavior in Colorado
Colorado State prosecutors must prove 3 elements beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted of drunk and disorderly behavior.
- That you were drunk at the time of the incident
- That you were in a public place
- That you were engaged in behavior that was disruptive to society or that disturbs the peace.
This last element is rather subjective and calls for the police officer in question to decide whether your behavior has risen to a level that is not just obnoxious but that is disruptive. Sadly, many police officers abuse this last element and arrest individuals who are simply drunk or who have simply irritated them, but who have not become a disruption to society.
Consult a Dedicated Attorney
If you are arrested and charged with drunk and disorderly behavior or disorderly intoxication in Colorado Springs, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side immediately. Your attorney may be able to have the charges against you dismissed, especially if there was no evidence that you were drunk or no evidence that you disturbed the peace. Your lawyer may be able to cite lack of probable cause and have the charges dismissed or even reduced to just probation.
If you are convicted of disorderly intoxication, you face serious consequences that could include up to 6 months in county jail and a misdemeanor conviction on your record. Your lawyer can see to it that you avoid jail time and negotiate an informal diversion where you agree to attend AA meetings or counseling instead of spending time in jail.
Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges in Colorado Springs, Briargate, Black Forest, Fountain Valley, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Sarah Christensen has the experience and resources to fight for your freedom and protect your future. Call (719) 634-7770 today to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges.