Public Intoxication in NJ
In many states, public intoxication is considered a misdemeanor, however, in New Jersey, such people are not considered offensive per se. The crime comes in when individuals are found visibly drunk or intoxicated to the point of being harmful to themselves and others around them (e.g. driving while under the influence or physically assaulting someone). They can also endanger other people’s lives by their acts, which include being verbally abusive, being lewd, robbing them or sexually assaulting them. Charges can also be brought against such people if they cause damage to public and private property due to their state of mind.
This intoxication can be caused by alcohol, or by recreational, over-the-counter or prescription drugs, whether legal or illegal. The laws of New Jersey regulate the sale of alcohol, but local governments aren’t allowed to pass laws that involve public intoxication. Their approach to such intoxicated individuals is geared towards helping them sober up rather than punish them for it unless it’s under special circumstances mentioned above which pose a danger.
Public Intoxication Laws in NJ
Public intoxication laws in New Jersey are put in place to protect citizens from having their peace disturbed by individuals who cannot control their alcohol intake and thus become unruly under the influence. The laws don’t make public intoxication illegal, rather, the disruptive actions that one undertakes when drunk can land them in trouble if they are of a criminal nature.
Under New Jersey law, police officers and medical personnel have a right to take a person that is publicly intoxicated under protective custody. This does not mean they are under arrest, as the intention behind it is to keep the person safe until they are sober enough to regain their faculties.
Police might perform tests like the breathalyzer test and are allowed to use force as long as they don’t injure such persons when taking them into custody. Medical officers can do the same for people so drunk that they become incapacitated or in need of emergency care. These two groups of people have the right to take such an intoxicated person to a treatment center if they deem it necessary.
Public Intoxication Charge in NJ
In some states, a public intoxication charge is often referred to as being drunk and disorderly and entails a person who is clearly under the influence of drugs – including alcohol – in public. The charge can be brought against you if you seem or appear to be drunk or intoxicated while in public. This means that walking around town looking or acting tipsy and behaving in a lewd and disorderly manner; you might be stopped by a police officer.
The way you behave is enough for a law enforcement officer to stop you to investigate the matter further. Prosecutors have the burden of proving that the defendant was out of control at the time of arrest and that they posed a danger to the public and themselves. This, however, only applies in some states as New Jersey doesn’t have laws that criminalize the act. A charge of public intoxication in NJ can only be brought to you in the event you drive under the influence (DUI) or commit other crimes while visibly drunk. One can also be charged with disorderly conduct that draws a fine, six months jail time and probation where random drug tests might be conducted.
NJ Public Intoxication Attorney
Such a public intoxication charge calls for a NJ criminal defense attorney, and to get a lighter sentence, you will need legal representation of the highest nature. Feel free to contact us for a consultation and together we will map out the best course of action for your New Jersey public intoxication case.