Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 8 years ago

Is your front porch considered private property in Texas?

I came home to my parents house after being out one night and got into a verbal argument with them. The cops were called and I was questioned by the officers for over an hour about "looking drunk." I offered to take a breathalyzer test multiple times, but they refused to administer the test. I stepped out on my front porch to make a phone call for a ride, as I felt it would be better to leave. As soon as I was on the porch the officer arrested me for public intoxication. At arraignment I pleaded not guilty and invoked my right to a trial by jury. #1 I was not intoxicated, #2 I was not a danger to those around me or myself, #3 it was my understanding that a porch on a residential home is private property. Finally, no blood was drawn or breathalyzer test was given, so it appears to me that the officer was just getting mad and took me in to resolve the situation.

I was going at this (pro se) with no attorney, as I'm 32 years old and recently lost my job. I simply can't afford to have this on my record or afford the costly fees of a trial attorney. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Update:

Sorry, I forgot to say that this happened around 2:30am in the morning, and I did admit to the officers I had three beers watching the Cowboys game at my friends house around 5pm earlier that afternoon. I was talking with them coherently for almost an hour and it had been 9 hours or so since my last drop of beer. Which is why I offered to take a breathalyzer test. As it turns out class C misdemeanors are not eligible for public defenders, which makes me feel even more like I'm being forced into simply paying the fine.

4 Answers

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  • Chet
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    First, they can only give a breathalyzer or blood draw for DWI.

    But I do agree, you MUST be in a public place. You where not in a public place.

    Sec. 49.02. PUBLIC INTOXICATION. (a) A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.

    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/...

    (40) "Public place" means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops.

    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/...

    My guess is they will drop charges, they only arrested you because you either POP (pi$$ed of the police) or to get you away from the house.

  • 5 years ago

    First, they can only give a breathalyzer or blood draw for DWI. But I do agree, you MUST be in a public place. You where not in a public place. Beautiful views of Texas hill country from living room, bedrooms, and large porch, ... Tenant Screening News

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  • HD
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    apparently a front porch is not considered private property. i would imagine you can get this charge dismissed pretty easily especially since they didn't do a breathalyser or blood test. thing is you didn't say if you had been drinking or not, if the cop smelled alcohol that might be enough for the arrest.

  • 8 years ago

    You need a lawyer, pronto.

    You've already seen how far it's going to get you by doing this yourself.

    It may help to contact the ACLU - if you feel you are being railroaded and need defense:

    http://www.aclu.org/affiliates

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