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Does an Arizona Public Intoxication Arrest Go on Your Record?

by | Mar 26, 2019 | Bail Bond | 0 comments

It may come as a surprise to learn that there is no such charge as “public intoxication” or “drunk and disorderly” in Arizona. However, if people create a public disturbance while intoxicated, officers can and do charge them withdisorderly conduct

In many states, disorderly conduct or public intoxication is basically a traffic ticket. But in Arizona, this offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor (up to six months in jail, $2,500 fine, and three years probation). So, if officers arrest you for disorderly conduct, you’ll go to jail, and you’ll probably need a Phoenix bail bonds agent from Sanctuary Bail Bonds to get you out.

Examples of Disorderly Conduct in Arizona

Section 13-2904 is basically a fallback provision. Officers often arrest people for disorderly conduct when they aggravate the officers and they cannot find any other charges to press. So, the law is very broad and could apply to a variety of “disturbing or disorderly” behaviors.

First, the defendant’s intent can simply be “knowing” that s/he is behaving in a disorderly manner. There’s no requirement of intent to injure someone else, or even the intent to create a disturbance. Regulatory offenses like these are easy to prove in court. For example, in traffic court, the state need not prove you intentionally ran a stop sign. Prosecutors just need to prove you knew it was there.

Second, Arizona’s disorderly conduct law covers many different circumstances. They include:

  • Engaging in any disruptive or violent behavior,
  • Making unreasonable noise,
  • Using obscene or abusive language,
  • Preventing a lawful demonstration or “the transaction of the business of a lawful meeting,”
  • Refusing to obey a lawful order to disperse, or
  • Recklessly handling a dangerous instrument.

These categories are incredibly vague. For example, a “dangerous instrument” is any object which could possibly hurt someone, like a drinking glass but maybe even a drinking straw could be interpreted as a dangerous instrument. Recklessly handling such an instrument could include slamming the glass on the table and it breaking or waving a drinking straw in someone’s face near their eyes.

How to Handle Disorderly Conduct Charges

Since disorderly conduct is a serious misdemeanor in Arizona, an arrest goes on your permanent record.

One way to prevent such an outcome is to not be arrested in the first place. If officers arrive on the scene, and if you go away quietly, they will probably give you a verbal warning and forget the whole thing. Try to practice the “designated driver” rule and include at least one person in your group who is not been drinking to act as the level headed decision maker. Follow their lead if they tell you it’s time to leave, quiet down, or stop what you are doing.

If you failed at these recommendations and needed bonding services from Sanctuary Bail Bonds and your case goes to court, if have no prior record you may be eligible for pretrial diversion. Be sure to secure the services of an attorney because pretrial diversion is your opportunity to make things right. Successfully completing the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) will keep the conviction off your record. When the case is over, it may be possible to expunge both the arrest and conviction record, assuming that there are no domestic violence or other related charges.

Call Sanctuary Bail Bonds 24/7 365 at (602) BAIL-247 or (602) 224-5247 to get out of jail on a disorderly conduct charge or for any other charge. Our professional bondsman understand that the most successful and affordable way for you and your family to move forward is with a surety bond for your pretrial release out of jail. To learn more about bail bonds visit our page FAQ-page or call us any time for a free bail bond consultation .


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