Public intoxication in Michigan is a misdemeanorPublic Intoxication in Michigan

Protecting Your Record is Our Priority

While disorderly conduct may be a misdemeanor charge, it should be taken seriously. Many people plead guilty without attaining a criminal defense lawyer first. This can be a costly mistake because there are options to review prior to providing a plea.

Drunk & Disorderly Conduct

Most criminal defense attorneys will likely say that they handle a fair amount of disorderly conduct charges where alcohol consumption is involved. Drunk and disorderly conduct charges fill the dockets throughout Metro-Detroit area courts. Severity in charge often depends on how much alcohol was consumed and what misbehavior resulted from it but the sentence can include time in jail up to 93 days. Even without jail time, the conviction still goes on your criminal record and will affect how the police and prosecutors view your criminal history for a long time to come. The court may also require alcohol testing a brief or lengthy counseling program as a condition of probation. Those offenders who are not classified as “problem drinkers” may be required to attend a one-day alcohol responsibility class to satisfy the court and have the charge dismissed.

Talk to a criminal defense lawyer before deciding what to do after an arrest for drunk and disorderly conduct or public intoxication. At the Schwartz Law Group, every client works directly with AV-rated* criminal defense attorney Steven L. Schwartz. You can count on us to fight efficiently and aggressively for the best possible outcome in your case.

Call us at (248) 266-8720 or send us an e-mail.

* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the Penalties for Public Intoxication in Michigan?

    Those punished for Public Intoxication (which can be found at MCL 750.168) are faced with up to 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

    In addition to these penalties, a person may be referred for an alcohol assessment which helps determine if the person has a substance abuse problem. Probation is another penalty a person may face in addition to community service, and random drug and/or alcohol testing.

    If property was damaged as a result of public intoxication, there may be additional charges or fines added.

  • What are Potential Defenses for Drunk & Disorderly Conduct?

    In order for a prosecutor to prove the offense of Public Intoxication in Michigan, they have to show that the suspect was:
    1. A disorderly person.
    2. That they were Intoxicated in a public place.
    3. That they were acting in a manner that would cause a public disturbance or they were endangering the safety of a person or property.

    There are two potential defenses public intoxication in Michigan:
    Not intoxicated – for this argument, you need to prove that you were not intoxicated and this is typically done through the use of a breathalyzer test administered while in custody.

    Not a public place – while you may be intoxicated, you need to prove that you were not intoxicated in a public space or that you were involuntarily in a public place at the time that you were taken into custody by a police officer. For example: you cannot be ordered out of your private residence, like your home, and placed on the public property in front of your home – like a sidewalk – and then taken into custody for public intoxication.

  • Does a Public Intoxication Conviction Go on My Record?

    This depends on what the actual charge is. In some cases, yes, this can go on your permanent record. Contact the Schwartz Law Group to have your case thoroughly reviewed to get the best outcome for a public intoxication charge.

Similar Alcohol-Related Charges

Drunk driving offenses and DUI charges are taken very seriously in the State of Michigan and this charge may be tacked on to a public intoxication charge. Learn how an experienced criminal attorney can help.

Operating While Intoxicated, or OWI, is what is commonly referred to as a DUI. Learn more about OWI charges, their effects on your record, and why you need an attorney by your side.

In some cases of an alcohol-related offense like a DUI, you may have your driver’s license suspended or revoked. Learn why it’s important to have a criminal defense attorney with you for those hearings.