Many cases that make their way through the courts of Criminal Defense involve the use of alcohol in cases such as Public Drunkenness. assault crimes One of the less serious offenses involving substances is public drunkenness and similar misconduct. This statute is defined under section 5505 of the Pa criminal code. An individual can be charged with this offense if they are in a public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance to the degree that they are a harm to themselves or others or property or they are annoying people in their vicinity. It is a common misconception that simply being drunk in a public setting is illegal. As defined in this statute that is not necessarily the case. In order for an individual to be charged with this offense they must be so intoxicated that it puts them at harm, others at harm, or they must act in a manner that, as the statute puts it, annoys someone. Some examples of acts that might put the individual who is intoxicated in harm's way are falling asleep outside in the cold or stumbling into traffic. Stumbling into traffic could also be considered putting others in harm's way as well because it increases the risk for an accident to occur.