Legal Question in Criminal Law in Virginia

fighting intoxication in public

i am 17. i was caught at a concert holding a closed beer and was charged with intoxication in public. i was not drunk at the time and was not breathalized so they have no proof that i was. i did have one beer earlier though. is this one beer relevant to my case? what should i say to fight it?

Asked on 6/18/01, 9:12 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Steven Scheinin Steven J. Scheinin, Lawyer
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Re: fighting intoxication in public

The only thing you can tell the Court in any criminal case is the truth. However, a lawyer can say it much better, first because he has expierence in Court, and second he is telling it in the third person, which is better than you can do.

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6/28/01, 7:56 pm
Glenn R. Tankersley Regency Legal Clinic
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Re: fighting intoxication in public

The prosecution does not have to have a chemical test to prove a charge of DIP. They don't even absolutely have to have it to prove DUI.

They can prove it by testimony about your appearance and behavior. And smart policemen know exactly what testimony the court wants to hear in order to convict. That's not to say most policemen lie at all; just that they know how to testify. And they almost always honestly believe you are guilty or they wouldn't charge you. Nevertheless, they can be wrong, badly wrong sometimes.

You need to talk to an attorney in person about how to present your case to the Court.

And follow the advice of the other attorney who replied to your query, tell the truth. That's the best advice an attorney can ever give in any case and I second it heartily for two reasons. First and foremost, because it's the right thing to do. Second, because it works a lot better than lying. The one secret to sounding sincere when you testify is BEING sincere. Works just about every time.

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6/29/01, 1:15 am

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