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Public Intoxication Cases

If you were arrested for public intoxication in Houston, TX, then you’re well aware that it can be an embarrassing and scary experience. Often, the Houston Police Department will initiate an arrest based on the pretense that you “might” be intoxicated, when, in some cases, this is not the case.

Understanding “PI” Charges

Man intoxicated at park table.

Did you know that a Houston Police Department officer can walk right into a bar and arrest on you the spot just for being a lil’ tipsy?

This is a perfect example of how the odds are stacked against defendants in public intoxication cases and why accused parties always benefit from retaining counsel.

If you find yourself in this situation, contact our legal team by calling our law office at 713-489-7373. We’ll work with you to develop a strategy to beat the charge. Beating the charge is important because an arrest for public intoxication creates the occurrence of an alcohol-related criminal offense on your background.

If you’re convicted of this type of criminal offense, it can affect your future in numerous ways. A public intoxication conviction could be a barrier should you seek higher education, career advancement, or the approval of lease agreements on certain rental properties.

If you need help mitigating the damages that a public intoxication charge can foist on you, we’re ready to help.

Public Intoxication & Texas Law


As outlined by Texas law, a person commits the crime of Public Intoxication by being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or other devices while in a public place.

The defining standard of public intoxication is when a person is intoxicated to the point where they represent a danger to the public or themselves. The State of Texas feels this legal standard gives them a way of protecting you from yourself.

Some examples of this concept include the following;

  • a person that is intoxicated in public is likely to be robbed,
  • an intoxicated person puts themselves and the public at risk of serious injury,
  • a person who is publicly intoxicated that happens to be a motorist, are likely to commit a DWI offense,
  • a person who is a passenger of a motorist, who has become publicly intoxicated, is at risk,
  • a person who is publicly intoxicated may start a bar fight;

Moreover, this is the State of Texas protecting you from yourself.

Criminal Penalties if Convicted

The offense of public intoxication is generally classified as a Class C Misdemeanor. If convicted, the penalty for a Class C Misdemeanor is a fine of up to $500.

Once an individual is arrested for public intoxication in Houston, Harris County, Texas, they’ll have to spend at least 6 to 8 hours in jail or the care of a sobering center.

Houston Public Intoxication Lawyer
Attorney Tad A. Nelson

The police officer has the option of issuing the suspect a ticket (a citation) and releasing them to the custody of another adult who will take guardianship over them while they’re in their current condition.

They’ll be required to appear in court and will benefit by hiring a DWI defense attorney in Houston to provide legal defense services and help to keep their record clear of alcohol-related offenses.

Arrested for Public Intoxication in Houston?

Call On Attorney Tad Nelson For Help!

The decision to plead guilty, not guilty, nolo contendere, or to seek deferred adjudication, should be discussed with a DWI or PI lawyer. Preferably one with experience crafting legal strategies based on the specific situation of the person accused as opposed to a cookie cutter approach.

Since 1995 Attorney Tad A. Nelson has fought on behalf of the accused and has developed a winning record in DWI and PI cases. We’re here for you. You can reach Attorney Tad A. Nelson by calling 713-489-7373, or by clicking here to send us a message.

Houston Public Intoxication Attorney

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A. Nelson