Public intoxication is a crime in Texas that involves a person allegedly being intoxicated in public and representing a danger to themselves or other people. Police officers charge many people for public intoxication when they are unable to arrest alleged offenders for other more serious offenses, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI).

While public intoxication is a misdemeanor, a conviction can still be very harmful. Having this on your criminal record can still lead to other kinds of difficulties as employers, housing agencies, and other parties may view such convictions as being evidence of a person not being suitable for their goals.

Public Intoxication Defense Lawyer | Ft Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Southlake, TX

Were you or your loved one arrested for an alleged public intoxication offense anywhere in Tarrant County? The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can help you achieve the most favorable possible outcome for your case.

We can fight to possibly get your criminal charges dismissed. You can have us review your case when you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to receive a consultation.

Public Intoxication Charges in Fort Worth

Under Texas Penal Code § 49.02(a), a public intoxication offense involves a person appearing in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that they could endanger themselves or another person. A premises is considered a public place under Texas Penal Code §49.02(a-1) if the premises is licensed or permitted under the AlcoholicBeverage Code.

Under Texas Penal Code § 49.02(c), public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor. The crime is not a lesser included offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Texas Penal Code § 49.02(d) establishes that it is not a lesser included offense than driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) defines intoxication as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body” or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. Under Texas Penal Code § 49.01(1), an alcohol concentration (commonly referred to as a breath or blood alcohol concentration, or BAC) is the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67milliliters of urine.

Penalties for Public Intoxication in Texas

Public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 but convictions do not result in jail time. Texas Penal Code § 49.02(e) establishes that this offense committed by a minor (a person younger than 21 years of age) is punishable in the same manner as if the minor committed an offense to which AlcoholicBeverage Code § 106.071 applies.

Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.071 establishes that an offense involving a minor is also a Class C misdemeanor, but an alleged offender who has been previously convicted at least twice of public intoxication can be sentenced to a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up-to 180 days in jail. Under Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.115, the court must require an alleged offender to attend a drug education program approved by the Department of State Health Services, an alcohol awareness program approved by the texas department of Licensing and Regulation, or a drug and alcohol driving awareness program approved by the Texas Education Agency if a minor is placed on deferred disposition for public intoxication.

The court must also order a minor under Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.071(d) to be placed on deferred disposition to perform community service for a minimum of eight up to 12 hours if they have not been previously convicted of public intoxication or a minimum of 20 up to40 hours if they have been previously convicted once, and order the Department of Public Safety to suspend the driver’s license or permit of a minor convicted of public intoxication or, if the minor does not have a driver’s license or permit, deny the issuance of a driver’s license or permit for 30 days if the minor has not been previously convicted, 60 days if the minor has been previously convicted once of public intoxication, or 180 days if the minor has been previously convicted twice or more.

Public intoxication Main

Public Intoxication Defenses in Tarrant County

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for public intoxication under Texas Penal Code § 49.02(b) that the alcohol or other substance was administered for therapeutic purposes and as a part of the person’s professional medical treatment by a licensed physician. Affirmative defenses are raised to mitigate the consequences of otherwise illegal conduct.

In many cases, alleged offenders want to argue that they were not, in fact, intoxicated at the time of their alleged offenses. These claims could possibly be proven through video of alleged offenders at the time of their arrests, but the allegations are frequently quite subjective.

Public Intoxication Resources in Tarrant County

Welcome to the Fort Worth Police Department —Patrol for the Fort Worth Police Department (or FWPD) is broken into two commands, North Command and South Command. North Command oversees the Central, North, Northwest, and West divisions, while South Command oversees the East, South, and Traffic divisions. You can also learn about support services and crime prevention.

Fort Worth Police Department

505 W. Felix St.
Fort Worth, TX 76115
(817) 392-4200

Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Public Intoxication | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

If you or your loved one were arrested for public intoxication in Fort Worth or another community in Tarrant County, do not think that pleading guilty is your only option. Make sure you have legal representation so you can possibly fight the charges and avoid a conviction and contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Our firm will work to try and get your criminal charges completely dismissed. Call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.


Depends on the facts. Public intoxication only requires that the officer, in his lay persons opinion, feel that you are intoxicated and a danger to yourself and others. The danger that you face could be real or a possibility. This is a very low bar for the officer to claim under a standard of probable cause, making PI arrests very easy to make. The question of whether the case can be proved in court is another matter, but dismissal prior to trial for lack of probable cause is unlikely.

No, a plead of guilty that results in a finial conviction will result in a conviction on your record that cannot be removed at a later date.

Unless you file for a petition for expungement and have it granted; your public intoxication case will remain on your record. Even though your case was dismissed, a paper trial of proceeding is in the system and can still be pulled up through a background search. Only a granted expungement will erase your record.

Depends on the situation. Miranda rights only apply to verbal communications with the police in response to a custodial interrogation issue. The police asking basic identification questions or safety question is not interrogation. You just talking out loud is not protected. Even if there is a violation, such violation may only remove the use of the statements made in court and not the physical evidence collected.

Only if your case ends with a non-conviction. If your case ended in a non-conviction, then you may petition a court to expunge your record.
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