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  1. #1

    Default Public Intoxication, Drug Paraphernalia Charges After a Public Nuisance Call

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Texas

    I will try my best to describe the situation and how I ended up in it. My car battery died while driving on my way home, so I pulled into a residential neighborhood and parked on the side of a street. After calling AAA and meeting with a service repairman to fix my car, I was told my car had two problems: alternator and battery. In short, the service request was useless and I decided to try and travel the next 5 miles regardless of the car's condition.

    It broke down again, so I pulled over again, had emergency lights blinking and quickly discovered I had no more phone battery to make any more calls for help. I'm a 22 yo male w/ a full-time job and recent graduate, but I still reside at my mother's. Anyway, the time was around 10 pm at this point and I had exited my vehicle to the sidewalk hoping for a passerby to notice my emergency light without luck. I decided to stupidly knock on the door of the house I parked in front of late at night, because my car was parked on a hill in between a sign reading "No Parking from this sign to the corner of the street." Nobody answered, but the blinds were opened, somebody peeked at me, my eyes naturally rolled toward the movement, the porch lights were then turned on, but still there was no response, so I walked back to my car.

    Shortly thereafter, two officers parked behind my car with lights on. The more experienced one asks me "Terry" questions (did I get it right?), I let him know I'm driving back from playing at a local sports field, I live nearby, my car broke down, battery diedd, AAA couldn't help (still upset on this one), and that I needed help. He continued asking me what I had done earlier in the night and if I had been drinking. I responded with, "2 beers at dinner with dad." He told me the reason for their appearance was actually in response to a call from the house I knocked on for a public disturbance and somebody knocked on their door. After this, he wouldn't stop with the questions until he had me do a sobriety test - walk 9 paces and turn, stand on 1 foot for 30 seconds, and follow his light.

    Then he put me in handcuffs, while the other officer walked to my car, opened driver-side door and inspected it. One officer drove me back to the station, while my car was being searched and impounded. I was charged with Public Intoxication and Drug Paraphernalia- Possession because they found old bags in my car with remaining crumbs. I realize there were many stupid things done here on my part like leaving paraphernalia in car, knocking late at night, not having a back-up plan for these scenarios, but a week has now passed since the citations and I don't know what to do. Can I qualify for deferred adjudication by any means or do anything to resist these from appearing on a public record? How screwed am I?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
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    Default Re: Public Intoxication, Drug Paraphernalia Charges After a Public Nuisance Call

    I suggest you hire a lawyer and have him attempt to mitigate your damages. BTW, your story does not ring true from a mechanical/electrical perspective.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    185

    Default Re: Public Intoxication, Drug Paraphernalia Charges After a Public Nuisance Call

    You should never agree to a field sobriety test. Those tests are rigged against you. Most people who are sober would not pass them. The good news is that juries may be seeing it that way, too. So, if the police did not give you a BAC test, and if all they have is the field sobriety test, you may be able to beat the public intoxication charge.

    Now, in the bigger picture, if all you did was knock on the door, in a calm, rational manner, then why were the police called? And why did they pester you with questions? If the police learned that you were there because your car had broken down, then that should have been good enough for them to leave you alone. So, you may argue in court that police had no cause to give you a field sobriety test, and that everything that stemmed from that test was fruit from a poisonous tree and should be thrown out.

    I'm not a lawyer, and I may be reaching here, but really, do cops have to arrest everything that moves? Can't a person ask for help in a calm, orderly way, without being hounded by the cops?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Public Intoxication, Drug Paraphernalia Charges After a Public Nuisance Call

    The police most certainly are permitted to identify and question somebody who has been the subject of a 911 call for approaching a stranger's house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    185

    Default Re: Public Intoxication, Drug Paraphernalia Charges After a Public Nuisance Call

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    The police most certainly are permitted to identify and question somebody who has been the subject of a 911 call for approaching a stranger's house.
    When did knocking on someone's door, in a calm, rational manner, become illegal?

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