Celebrations That Go Too Far and Public Intoxication

Looks like celebrations may have gotten out of hand for at least one member of the Dallas Mavericks. Deshawn Stevenson, shooting guard for the newly crowned NBA Champs, was arrested Tuesday night – two days after the Mavericks upset the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA finals. The ESPN story is available here and the Dallas Morning News story is available here.

In Texas, public intoxication is a Class “C” misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $500 fine. Any top Texas criminal defense attorney will know how to best defend a charge of public intoxication. Most Texas attorneys and DUI lawyers know that proving public intoxication is difficult because more often than not, police officers do not administer Standardized Field Sobriety Tests to people arrested for that offense.

Although it may seem appealing to just plead guilty and take the conviction for public intoxication, pay a fine and etc., to just “get it over with,” remember that this conviction may come up later with a potential employer, college or graduate school admissions office, loan officer, etc. Do not just look at this as “it’s on the same level as a speeding ticket.” Concerns about potential alcohol issues or having been intoxicated to the point where you were found to be a danger to yourself or others usually doesn’t look so well in a job interview.

Texas Penal Code Section 49.02 (e) relates to minors, in this instance, those under 21 years of age. For someone that is under the age of 21, subsection (e) states that minors would face the same punishment as if they committed an offense under Section 106.071 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. Still there? Without taking the time to break down Section 106.071 of the TABC with a full legal analysis, there are several things things stand out. First, if a minor (not a child ) has two (2) previous convictions for public intoxication, this new conviction can be enhanced to a Class B Misdemeanor which carries potential jail time of up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000. Secondly, even a first time conviction for public intoxication can result in the suspension of a minor’s driver’s license, driver’s learning permit or to even deny the issuance of a driver’s learning permit. Third, a minor convicted for a first time public intoxication faces a fine between $250 and $500. Fourth, a minor faces mandatory community service and most likely a alcohol education course or program.

If you are arrested for DUI, DWI or any alcohol or drug related offense in Houston, TX or anywhere in Texas, former judge David Hunter is an excellent choice and can help you get the best result in your case. Please call (281) 265-1515 for a free consultation.

 



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