Edinburg Public Intoxication Lawyer

Public Intoxication is a serious criminal charge in Edinburg. Categorized as a class C misdemeanor under Texas law, Public Intoxication charges in Edinburg result in arrest, a potential maximum $500 fine, community service hours, and mandatory alcohol awareness classes and counseling in certain circumstances. A conviction can lead to a permanent criminal record, affecting professional and educational prospects in Edinburg. Repeat offenders face a maximum 180-day jail sentence and a $2,000 fine. 

  • How do I get Public Intoxication dismissed in Edinburg, Texas? Securing a dismissal for a Public Intoxication charge in Edinburg requires a skilled and knowledgeable defense attorney familiar with the science and investigation of intoxication offenses. The Hidalgo County District Attorney actively prosecutes intoxication cases, and a strategic defense must analyze and exploit weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence to achieve a deferral or dismissal.
  • What is Penal Code 49.09 in Texas? Texas Penal Code section 49.09 allows the state to enhance DWI and other intoxication offenses based on prior DWI convictions or the circumstances of the offense. Edinburg prosecutors may use this provision, and an effective Texas intoxication lawyer will build a compelling defense to secure a deferral, reduction, or dismissal in certain circumstances.


Results matter when life and livelihood are on the line. Public Intoxication charges are criminal charges and the State is legally bound to a burden of proving the charge beyond all reasonable doubt. A dismissal is possible in every Public Intoxication case, no matter the circumstances. You can’t win if you don’t fight.

Trey Porter Law has a track record of winning dismissals in the toughest cases. Every case is different, but an aggressive, exhaustive approach yields the best overall result in every case, every time. TPL trial lawyers have a steadfast commitment to uncompromising results.


Public Intoxication charges can be dropped, dismissed, and resolved without conviction in Edinburg-area courts, but it requires a strategic legal approach. Even first-time offenders may not see charges casually dismissed, and an effective defense must be dynamic and tailored to Edinburg’s legal landscape.

  • What is the grounds for Public Intoxication in Edinburg, Texas? Texas Penal Code section 49.02 outlines the legal elements for a Public Intoxication charge. An offense occurs if an individual appears in public while intoxicated to the extent they pose a danger to themselves or others. The law does not specify a BAC threshold, but focuses on the safety risk posed by the individual.
  • Does a Public Intoxication show on a background check in Edinburg, Texas? Yes, a Public Intoxication charge will appear on a criminal background check in Edinburg even when dismissed. It is crucial to note that this offense does not automatically disappear and may remain permanently on a criminal record unless expunged. Expungement is the only way to clear a Public Intoxication record in Edinburg.


In court, a prosecutor proves intoxication by presenting Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. In a Public Intoxication case, the crucial evidence includes the police officer’s testimony regarding the suspect’s conduct, along with any video evidence depicting the incident. The defendant’s speech, balance, coordination, and overall demeanor remain essential factors in any intoxication case.

  • Is drinking in public illegal in Edinburg, Texas? No, drinking in public is generally legal in many areas of Edinburg, including streets and sidewalks in various neighborhoods. However, specific areas around downtown, business districts, and public parks may have restrictions.
  • What is the investigation for intoxication? Law enforcement officers often use Standardized Field Sobriety Tests to investigate intoxication, evaluating a suspect’s ability to follow instructions, perform balance and coordination exercises, and divide attention. Officers also look for clues such as the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and changes in mood and demeanor.


No, it is illegal to drink alcohol inside a vehicle in Edinburg. Open Container is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $500 fine and may result in a permanent conviction in certain circumstances. Individuals drinking in their cars may also be subject to arrest on a DWI charge under specific circumstances. 

  • Is it illegal to drink in a parked car in Edinburg, Texas? Yes, it is illegal to drink in a parked vehicle in Edinburg. Consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle is a class C misdemeanor that carries a maximum $500 fine and potential permanent criminal conviction for violation of the Texas Open Container law.It is legal to drink inside a limo, RV, or motorhome. Additionally, a person drinking in their car may face DWI arrest if an officer believes they recently operated the vehicle.
  • Can I walk around my neighborhood with a beer in Edinburg? Yes, it is generally legal to walk around with a beer in most Edinburg neighborhoods, except for specific areas around downtown, special business districts, and public parks. However, individuals must avoid drinking to the extent that it poses a danger to themselves or others in public, as this can lead to arrest and misdemeanor charges in Edinburg.


Edinburg does not implement a zero tolerance policy for general alcohol consumption; however, restrictions against minors exist. It is illegal for a minor to operate a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol and to purchase or consume alcohol. Minors violating these restrictions face criminal prosecution with serious consequences.

  • How do police measure a person’s level of intoxication? Police in Edinburg can use blood or breath tests to measure a person’s level of intoxication. Field sobriety tests may also be administered, assessing a suspect’s ability to follow instructions, balance, and coordinate movements. Police look for signs of intoxication such as slurred speech, balance issues, and bloodshot eyes, employing similar methods in Public Intoxication cases, DWI charges, and felony DWI cases like Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter.
  • What are the three main signs of intoxication? Police undergo specific training to detect common signs of intoxication, including slurred speech, glassy, bloodshot eyes, and difficulties with divided attention tasks, like retrieving identification while responding to police questioning. These signs are relevant in Edinburg DWI and Public Intoxication cases and even in felony charges involving intoxication.


Common evidence of alcohol intoxication includes police testimony regarding a suspect’s demeanor, toxicological test results, and video footage depicting interactions. A criminal defense lawyer with experience in intoxication cases can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence to leverage a favorable outcome in criminal cases.

  • Can you drink in an Uber in Edinburg, Texas? It is generally legal to drink alcohol in an Uber or rideshare service in Texas. However, as private enterprises, these services may have policies prohibiting alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol in a limo is also legal in Texas.
  • Can I drink in my car if it is turned off? No, it is illegal to drink alcohol in a car, whether it is in operation or parked with the ignition off, in Edinburg. Open Container is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $500 fine and may lead to a permanent criminal conviction in certain cases. Police may arrest individuals drinking in their vehicle on DWI charges if they believe the person recently operated the car.


Yes, it is legal to transport an open container of alcohol in the trunk of a vehicle in Edinburg. This exception to the Texas Open Container law allows for the lawful transportation of open containers.

  • Is walking around intoxicated illegal? Yes, it is illegal for a person to walk around intoxicated to the extent they endanger themselves or others in Edinburg. Public Intoxication is a serious class C misdemeanor, leading to a maximum $500 fine, community service, alcohol awareness, and a potential permanent criminal conviction. Learn more.
  • What is the difference between drunk and intoxicated? The term “drunk” is colloquially used to refer to someone under the influence of intoxicants without specifying a particular level. “Intoxication” is more commonly used in legal or scientific contexts to detail a measurable level of alcohol or other intoxicant influence, as opposed to generic “drunkenness.”


Five common signs of intoxication in Edinburg DWI arrests and police investigations include (1) glassy, bloodshot eyes, (2) the odor of intoxicants, (3) slurred speech, (4) balance and coordination issues, and (5) difficulties completing divided attention tasks. Individuals suspected of intoxication should limit their interactions with law enforcement to restrict available prosecution evidence. 

  • What is the obvious intoxication test? “Obvious intoxication” refers to an individual visibly under the severe influence of intoxicants. While there is no specific test for this, indicators may include consistent stumbling, incoherence, and a demeanor clearly indicating a person’s state of intoxication or drunkenness.
  • Where is it legal to walk around with alcohol in Edinburg? It is generally legal to walk around with alcohol in most Edinburg neighborhoods. However, public consumption of alcohol is prohibited around specific areas such as downtown, business districts, and public parks.


The average American male will reach a 0.08 BAC after drinking approximately 4 average shots in one hour. The average American female will reach a 0.08 BAC after consuming around 3 average shots in one hour.

  • How many beers does it take to get drunk? For the average American male to be legally drunk in Texas, it generally takes drinking 4 average beers in one hour. An average American female can become legally intoxicated after consuming around 3 average beers in an hour.


Hiring an experienced Public Intoxication lawyer in the best way to fight Edinburg Public Intoxication changes. A successful defense requires knowledge of intoxication science and investigation. Skilled attorneys in Edinburg can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and leverage a dynamic defense to secure a reduction or dismissal of charges. 

  • How do I remove Public Intoxication from my record in Edinburg? The only way to remove a Public Intoxication record in Edinburg is through Expunction. Expunction is a powerful legal tool that erases all records of an offense, allowing a person to deny the existence of the expunged charge. This is a significant advantage for professionals and students in Edinburg.
  • How long do they hold you for Public Intoxication in Edinburg, Texas? A person can be held on a Public Intoxication charge for several hours in Edinburg until they regain sobriety. This detention is partially from a public safety perspective, deeming the individual a danger to themselves or others. Subsequently, the person may be subject to jail release and a court appearance.


Edinburg Public Intoxication charges are costly. Public Intoxication has a  maximum $500 fine, though additional court costs can be incurred, as well as the cost of court ordered classes and community service. Repeat offenders may face an enhanced maximum fine of $2,000 in Edinburg. It is impossible to quantify the cost of a criminal conviction, which is why it’s critical to get a dismissal at all costs. 


Trey Porter Law represents Texans charged with Public Intoxication in Edinburg and Hidalgo County, including surrounding areas of Edinburg, Mission, and Pharr.

Trey Porter Law is one of the highest and best rated criminal defense firms in Texas. Recipients of statewide and national recognition, the advocates at TPL know how to fight and win for their clients.

The dynamic team of advocates at TPL have over 40 years of experience in every facet of criminal defense The firm has delivered successful outcomes for thousands of Texans facing intoxication and criminal charges. From nurses to doctors, veterans to first responders, and students and professionals across every field, TPL brings a results-oriented & client-focused approach to solving complex problems.


The criminal justice system can be very difficult to navigate. The following resources can be useful when facing Public Intoxication charges in Edinburg, Texas: 

  • Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office: The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer for Edinburg and all of Hidalgo County, Texas. The Sheriff’s office oversees and manages the Hidalgo County Jail.

    Website: Hidalgo County Sheriff
  • Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office: The Misdemeanor Division of the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office consists of twenty prosecutors and a team of staff members. Misdemeanor prosecutors handle all Class A and B misdemeanors committed in Hidalgo County and any Class C appeals from Justice of the Peace or Municipal Courts. The misdemeanor prosecutors spend most of their day in the County Courts at Law. Their daily tasks include handling docket calls, pleas before the courts, pre-trial hearings, trials, and post-trial hearings.

    Website: Hidalgo County District Attorney
  • Hidalgo County Clerk’s Office: In addition to serving as the clerk for the County Court, County Courts at Law and the County Commissioners’ Court, a County Clerk records and keeps records pertaining to county courts, real and personal property, and personal records. Other responsibilities include recording vital statistics, issuing marriage licenses, birth and death records, collecting court fines and fees, filing and maintaining civil and criminal court documents, and administering other miscellaneous licensing and recording requirements.

    Website: Hidalgo County Clerk’s Office
Edinburg Public Intoxication Lawyer FAQs; Knowledge is power. Get honest answers now.

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