West Virginia Public Intoxication Defense Attorney

Criminal Defense Counsel – Court Representation

Charged with an Alcohol Offense? Call Us NOW! 304-636-7681

While moonshine is part of our rich history and has been embraced in modern West Virginia folklore by legal “shiners,” locals, and tourists alike, you might never know it based on the way our laws view alcohol. From absinthe to vodka and beyond, alcohols of all types are demonized by West Virginia law. Maybe the law came calling when you wandered outside for some fresh air after enjoying some wine. Perhaps things got a little too “festive” at a holiday party. Whether your child was accused of underage drinking, it was alleged that you served alcohol without a license, you shocked someone’s sensibilities in the neighborhood, or were otherwise charged with violating an alcohol law, give us a call.

Alcohol Crimes In West Virginia

The government has a lot to say about alcohol. In West Virginia, the law forbids appearing in a public place while intoxicated. This includes drinking alcohol in a public place, as well as offering alcoholic liquor to another person in a public place. It is considered a crime to operate a business that serves, or even supports the consumption of, alcoholic liquors without a liquor license issued by the state. You are further forbidden from possessing more than 10 gallons without paying for the stamps or seals of the commissioner. You can also face criminal charges for merely possessing or acquiring any alcohol considered to be illicit.

Public Intoxication

Punishment In West Virginia

First-Offense Public Intoxication

Misdemeanor: Fine of $5 to $100 and up to six hours of an alcohol education program at the nearest Mental Health-Mental Retardation center

Second-Offense Public Intoxication

Misdemeanor: Fine of $5 to $100, up to 60 days in jail, and at least five hours of alcohol counseling at the nearest Mental Health-Mental Retardation center

Third-Offense Public Intoxication & Subsequent

Misdemeanor: Fine of $5 to $100 and 5 to 60 days in jail, or fine of $5 to $100 and at least five hours of alcohol counseling at the nearest Mental Health-Mental Retardation center (provided that 3 convictions within 6 months are considered evidence of alcoholism)

“Not Guilty Because of Addiction”

The Hidden Penalty

In some cases, those found to have appeared in a public place in an intoxicated condition, but is an alcoholic, may be found not guilty by reason of addiction. When this happens, the individual is subject to “proper disposition by a mental hygiene commissioner.” Yes, that is as terrifying as it sounds.

Involuntary Mental Health Hospitalization

The mental hygiene commissioner may place such an individual into inpatient mental health hospitalization on an involuntary basis under WV §27-5-1. This individual would then be subject to forensic evaluation by a psychiatric professional or psychologist (WV § 27-6A-1).

Declared Insane for Life & Loss of Gun Rights

When involuntarily committed to a mental health hospital for any reason, including being temporarily upset, emotional, or under the influence of drugs and alcohol, an individual is entered into the State Mental Health Registry, the FBI background check system, and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This is a permanent record EVEN IF A DOCTOR LATER DETERMINES THE INDIVIDUAL WAS NEVER MENTALLY ILL. If this happens to you, the incident will show up on background checks for the rest of your life. You will be prohibited from ever owning a firearm. Being permanently declared insane for having too much to drink is not in your best interest. If you or a loved one are facing this situation, contact our law office immediately.

Public Intoxication Conviction Can Have Catastrophic Results

If you are facing any drug or alcohol-related charge, the situation is always serious. In some cases, the matter can rapidly evolve into one with catastrophic results for your future. Although the penalty for a first offense may seem minor to some, it would be a mistake to disregard any public intoxication-related charge. An involuntary commitment to a mental health facility may result in loss of your right to possess a firearm and the incident may have life-long results. To make matters worse, it can be extremely difficult to gain release from these types of facilities.

Protecting Your Rights In West Virginia

WV’s Best Legal Defense for Public Drunkenness Charges

At Isner Law Office, we are here to help you understand your rights and the consequences you may face from a conviction for public intoxication. Our alcohol offenses defense lawyers can help you make the best decisions when accused of committing any alcohol-related offense. Throughout West Virginia, we assist our clients with securing the best possible outcome for the case.

Contact Isner Law Office

WV Criminal Defense Representation for Alcohol Charges

Our skilled alcohol crimes legal defense team protects the rights of the accused from Elkins to Morgantown and throughout the entire state of West Virginia. From allegations of public drunkenness, drunk and disorderly conduct, serving alcohol without a license to DUI, DWI, and more, Isner Law Firm is here to serve you. Our criminal defense attorneys can answer your questions, investigate facts and allegations related to your case, and provide effective legal representation in courts of law throughout West Virginia. Ready to get started? Call Isner Law Office to schedule your FREE* initial legal consultation 304-636-7681.

*In most cases, family law consultations are not free.