Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

public intoxication and drug possession

First offense FILED CHARGES for both of above (11357(B) AND PC 647(F). What does the prosection have to show to prove its case (particularly for public intoxication)? My son was told public intoxication would be dropped? will this happen? My son was asked by cops if he could be searched. He declined and was searched anyways. Was 4th amendment rights violated?

Asked on 4/16/07, 11:49 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Quincy Hoang Quincy Hoang, Attorney

Re: public intoxication and drug possession

What needs to be proved

Health & Safety 11357(B)

Unlawful possession of marijuana may be established by proof that a defendant: (1) exercised dominion and control with respect to marijuana, (2) had knowledge of its presence, and (3) had knowledge of its narcotic character.

PC 647(F)

Public intoxication is proved when evidence can establish a person is in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination so that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.

As to 4th Amendment rights, your son may have had his rights violated. The critical issue is whether his public intoxication was established prior to being searched. If it was clear that he was intoxicated in public, then the cops were within their powers to arrest him. Once under arrest, cops have the right to search anyone legally arrested.

Good luck with your son's case.

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Answered on 4/17/07, 6:56 am

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