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Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
5700 Granite Pkwy #200
Plano , Texas , 75024 USA
(469) 304-3422

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People can be arrested for public intoxication when they are intoxicated in public and represent a danger to themselves or other people. While it is only a misdemeanor offense, a conviction could still be incredibly damaging.

You should know that a conviction for public intoxication can impact your success with future applications for housing, employment, or professional licensing. In many cases, it can be very debatable whether a person was truly intoxicated and an alleged offender will want to fight to possibly get the criminal charges dismissed.

Public Intoxication Defense Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX

Were you or your loved one arrested for alleged public intoxication in the Collin County area? It will be important for you to quickly seek legal representation for assistance handling your case.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy defends people arrested for public intoxication in communities all over Collin County. Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Public Intoxication Charges in Collin County

Under Texas Penal Code § 49.02(a), a person commits public intoxication when they appear in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that they may endanger themselves or another person. A premise licensed or permitted under the Alcoholic Beverage Code is considered a public place under Texas Penal Code § 49.02(a-1).

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

Intoxicated is defined under Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) 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. Texas Penal Code § 49.01(1) defines an alcohol concentration (often referred to as a breath or blood alcohol concentration, or BAC) as the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67 milliliters of urine.

Penalties for Public Intoxication in Texas

This is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Class C misdemeanor convictions do not result in jail time.

Under Texas Penal Code § 49.02(e), a public intoxication 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 Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.071 applies. That section provides that an offense involving a minor is also a Class C misdemeanor.

When an alleged offender has been previously convicted at least twice of an offense, a conviction is punishable by a minimum fine of $250 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.

A court must order a minor 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 to 40 hours if they have been previously convicted once under Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.071(d). It must also 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 of public intoxication, 60 days if the minor has been previously convicted once, or 180 days if the minor has been previously convicted twice or more of public intoxication.

Public Intoxication

Public Intoxication Defenses in Collin County

Under Texas Penal Code § 49.02(b), it is an affirmative defense to prosecution for public intoxication 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. An affirmative defense can be raised to mitigate the consequences of otherwise illegal conduct. 

One of the most common defenses can be the argument that the alleged offender was not intoxicated to the satisfaction of the state definition. In such cases, video evidence could be introduced of alleged offenders at the times of their arrests demonstrating that they were not impaired.

Public Intoxication Resources in Collin County

Police | Plano, TX — The police department in Plano is involved in many cases. On this website, you can learn more about citizen programs, crime statistics, and open records requests. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Plano Police Department

909 14th St.
Plano, TX 75074
(972) 424-5678

Fine Payment Information | Plano, TX — Visit this website to pay public intoxication fines. The cost for a first offense is $371 and a second or subsequent offense is punishable by a fine of $571. Fines can increase by $50 if an alleged offender fails to appear in court within 15 days of the offense.

Find a Collin County Public Intoxication Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

If you or your loved one were arrested for public intoxication in Plano or a surrounding area of Collin County, you should not just plead guilty and hope for the mercy of the court. Instead, get yourself legal counsel and fight the criminal charges.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can help you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case. We can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Depends on the facts. Public intoxication only requires that the officer in his lay persons opinion 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 through 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 my only remove the use of the statements made in court and not the physical evidence collected.


Only if you 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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