Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: CA

    Long story but I will try to summarize it as best I can. The other day some friends and I spent the day "rock crawling" out in the desert near my place. After we returned I realized, after my friend left, that I had left my pack with my cell phone, car and house keys, in his car. He lives 30+ miles from me and only a few of us in town know him, so getting in touch was a huge problem.

    We had been drinking, no doubt about that. The problem happened when I got a ride home and tried to get into my house. I have severe agoraphobia so my house is my "safe" place. I broke a window in order to get in for lack of any other option. After a short while my agoraphobia really kicked in because I had no phone (or landline, that's how remote my place is), no car, nothing, and that is really bad for somebody with this condition. (even if I don't need it at the time, I have to know it's there)

    I started to freak out and walked to my neighbors place and asked him for some help and he called 911. I asked him to have them respond code 2 (I am a paramedic myself and know you can request that) because I can't have that much attention, it just makes it worse. Well, I heard the sirens 5 miles off and asked him again to ask dispatch to reduce the response with no avail. I said if they kept responding I would walk into my backyard and I didn't want help. (I live on 10 acres with BLM land behind my place.)

    I walked up to the south end of my property and just wanted them to leave, I couldn't take that humiliation. Well, that didn't work at all. Somebody decided to get the helo out to look for me, which wasn't hard because I was just sitting up on the south end of my property. They walked me back down and the medics looked at me and I refused transport. (I had small cuts from getting in my house.) At that point, the sheriff said "Fine, you are going with me." and arrested me in back of my house for public intoxication.

    Sorry, but it really was complicated.

    • I was ALWAYS on my very remote property.
    • I never said or did anything disrespectful.
    • I never got a breathalyzer or field sobriety test.
    • She said she was going to take me to the hospital after we left, but we ended up at the jail.


    Sure, I was drinking earlier in the day but it was my panic disorder that really got to me, not the alcohol. I'm really confused about this whole thing, and I've worked with the Sheriff's Dept. and EMS for well over ten years. (Hence, I would never disrespect an officer.)

    Any thoughts? I know it is a lot to take in, but thanks for any responses.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    when you are drunk and call the authorities on yourself, you can expect them to charge you with any crime they observe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
    View Post
    when you are drunk and call the authorities on yourself, you can expect them to charge you with any crime they observe.
    OP's point is he was not "in public" but on his own property.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    It looks as if you were in a publicly accessible place off and on throughout this incident and that is about all that is required for public intoxication.

    The elements would include being in a place open to the public (even if private property, if generally open to the use of passersby then it can arguably fit this definition), as well as your being unable to care for yourself or others due to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Apparently your behavior and your condition gave the officer reason to believe you fit the bill.

    Most often these cases are not prosecuted and are considered settled by the arrest. In the event that you are prosecuted, you can likely get some sort of diversion. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

    In the great scheme of things this is not a big deal. But, you might want to consider some of your actions in the future since you are aware that you have these little quirks that can cause you - and others - some concerns.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    Carl, I understand your statement but something within that code jumps out at me that "in public" is not properly applied as long as he is actually on his own property.

    In the first section of 647, it addresses lewd behavior and it specifically calls out public property, property accessible to the public and in the view of the public:

    (a) Who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or
    dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the
    public
    or exposed to public view.
    while in the section cited, it clearly states only "in any public place". How would you interpret that to include both a public place and a place open to the public (such as you spoke of in your post) especially given that the other terms are used within the same statute and as such, would show that there is in fact a limitation to what section (f) would actually be interpreted to be?

    (f) Who is found in any public place under the influence of
    intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any
    combination of any intoxicating liqu
    SARmedic; it would appear the charge is actually disorderly conduct and not public intox:

    647. Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty
    of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:
    I don't know if that makes any difference to you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    It was charged as (f) and I don't think they can change what they are charging you with on the fly to suit their needs.

    I was in my backyard, nothing but my house and BLM land in the background. I was fully able to care for myself but was having a severe panic episode. If anything I should have gone to the hospital.

    The other thing is, they never took a breathalizer or field sobriety test. (Not to mention never reading my rights to me.) How are they supposed to prosecute this if there is no evidence of intoxication?

    P.S. Thanks for all the replies.

    P.P.S. My driveway is 0.5 miles from the main road, I have one neighbor remotely close to me.

    I was down near my second house in this pic. The terrain is very rugged and most people cant even see it. It is marked Private no matter which way you approach the property. I thought a visual may help to show how remote this is. South of my second house, there is nothing for at least five miles, easily.



    The shaded area is the rough area of my ten acres.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    Carl, I understand your statement but something within that code jumps out at me that "in public" is not properly applied as long as he is actually on his own property.
    Not true - at least not true in CA. If it is publicly accessible, it is arguably in a public place.

    A judge would have to decide whether the back acreage was public or private. And if it was private, does a disturbance upon the property still constitute "disorderly conduct?"

    647. Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty
    of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:
    (f) Who is found in any public place under the influence of
    intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any
    combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance,
    or toluene, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care
    for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of
    his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any
    drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any
    intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs
    or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public
    way.

    And considering that the OP appears to have run from front to back, he does not get to call "home base" by running into his backyard.

    Note that "public place" does no automatically mean that it must be public property.

    "Public place" means open to public use and will depend on all the particular facts. (Cruz (2008) 44 Cal.4th 636, 674--a person found in a vehicle parked on the dirt shoulder of the highway outside a residential fence was in a public place; compare White (1991) 227 Cal.App.3d 886--fenced front yard, containing three dogs, was not a public place; R.K. (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1615, 1621-1622--woodshed located 10 to 15 feet from side of a house was not a public place.)

    Much of the law on the issue has to do with accessibility. Ultimately, it would be up to a court to determine whether or not he was in a public place at any point during his little episode. From the description, I would think it pretty clear that it can be articulated he was in a public place during some part of it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    Quote Quoting SARmedic
    View Post
    It was charged as (f) and I don't think they can change what they are charging you with on the fly to suit their needs.

    .
    Huh?

    Nobody said anything differently. I simply mentioned that that is not a public intoxication charge but a disorderly conduct charge. The main section is 647, which is what I posted. The individual lettered sections are the various elements required for a given situation to be charged within this disorderly conduct charge.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    All good arguments.

    Everything being equal, I don't know how they could possibly prosecute this without a breathalyzer or field sobriety test.

    (And I didn't run to the back of my property, I walked when I heard them five miles out. I was there long before they arrived, not that it really matters. I wasn't fleeing.)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Penal Code 647(F) While on My 10 Acres

    Quote Quoting SARmedic
    View Post
    All good arguments.

    Everything being equal, I don't know how they could possibly prosecute this without a breathalyzer or field sobriety test.
    It's done all the time. A specific measurement is no required. All they must show is that alcohol or drugs were involved (generally pretty easy to determine alcohol as you likely emanated an odor of an alcoholic beverage from your person). Plus, as I said, many counties simply deal with the issue as settled by arrest. In those that don't there are usually ways to enter diversion to keep it off your record.

    Next time, if you don't want the medics and the cops, don't call them. If someone calls the medics and there is a possibility they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the cops are coming along, too.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Weapons Offenses: Texas Penal Code 46.4
    By Blue Dog in forum Criminal Charges
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-01-2008, 04:28 PM
  2. Criminal Records: California Penal Code, Sec. 851.8(B)
    By gordo in forum Criminal Records
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-16-2008, 10:25 AM
  3. Initiation of Charges: California Penal Code 803.6
    By leicestersculpt in forum Criminal Procedure
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-08-2008, 02:08 AM
  4. Retail Fraud / Shoplifting: Charged with Penal Code 2C:20-4A
    By disney32296 in forum Criminal Charges
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-30-2007, 07:47 AM
  5. Retail Fraud / Shoplifting: California Penal Code 484(a)
    By scared76 in forum Criminal Charges
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-07-2007, 09:44 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources