Common Criminal Charges for St. Patrick's Day Arrest in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Arrests

Every year on St. Patrick's Day, City of Pittsburgh Police conduct multiple arrests and issue citations to intoxicated persons. If you've found this article, you've probably already been charged with an offense, and are seeking more information about your individual charges and on how to manage your situation moving forward. 

Here are some of the most frequently charged offenses on St. Patrick's Day in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania:

1. Public Drunkenness

No surprise - summary public drunkenness citations are commonly issued on St. Patrick's Day to individuals who appear in public and are intoxicated to a degree that they endanger themselves, endanger other people, endanger property or annoy others in close proximity. Those who are seen by police stumbling, vomiting, or otherwise show signs of being too drunk will be cited for public drunkenness. 

Possible Consequences: Approximately $450 in fines and court costs, maximum sentence of up to 90 days in jail, and criminal record that cannot be expunged for minimum period of 5 years, and possibly permanently. 

2. Public Urination & Defecation

Have to pee and there's a line at the next bar? Hold it, or you'll most certainly be picking up a public urination citation. Both police and local magistrates are cracking down on incidents of public urination. Public urination is considered a local ordinance summary violation. 

Possible Consequences: Approximately $450 in fines and court costs and record searchable on Unified Judicial System Portal.

3. Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is a catch-all provision that applies to a wide array of drunken behavior, and applies when an individual engages in certain types of prohibited conduct which causes public inconvenience while serving no legitimate purpose. You may find yourself cited with disorderly conduct for fighting, using foul language, disrespecting police officers, or otherwise causing a nuisance. DC can be graded as a summary, or a 3rd degree misdemeanor if serious public inconvenience occurred. 

Possible Summary Consequences: Approximately $450 in fines and court costs, maximum sentence of up to 90 days in jail, and criminal record that cannot be expunged for minimum period of 5 years, and possibly permanently. 

Possible 3rd-Degree Misdemeanor Consequences: Punishable by up to 1 year of jail/probation, permanent criminal record, fine of up to $2500, along with court costs. 

4. Underage Drinking

If you are under the age of 21, and you drank any amount of alcohol or held a drink, you may be facing Underage Drinking charges. Police do not need to breathalyze you to prove that you committed this offense. Circumstantial evidence of your consumption of alcohol is sufficient, such as having glassy or bloodshot eyes, an odor of alcohol on your breath, slurred speech or making a direct admission to having consumed alcohol. 

Possible Summary Consequences: 90-day license suspension for first offense (1-yr and 2-yr suspensions for 2nd and 3rd offenses), approximately $450 in fines and court costs, maximum sentence of up to 90 days in jail, and criminal record that cannot be expunged until the person turns 21 years of age. 

5. Defiant Trespass

If you were drunk, were asked to leave a bar, refused to do so, and continued pleading with the bouncer or police officer to let you back into the bar, you're probably facing a defiant trespass offense. Defiant trespass applies when a person enters or remains in a place after being given notice to leave. Depending on the circumstances, it may be charged as a summary offense or a 3rd-degree misdemeanor. 

Possible Summary Consequences: Approximately $450 in fines and court costs, maximum sentence of up to 90 days in jail, and criminal record that cannot be expunged for minimum period of 5 years, and possibly permanently. 

Possible 3rd-Degree Misdemeanor Consequences: Punishable by up to 1 year of jail/probation, permanent criminal record, fine of up to $2500, along with court costs. 

6. DUI - Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

It's much cheaper to use Uber or Lyft than it is to hire a lawyer and pay off thousands of dollars in fines and court costs. Especially when DUI enforcement is at it's peak during the St. Patrick's Holiday. Nonetheless, some well-intentioned individuals who head out only to have a beer or two otherwise find themselves drinking more than expected, and chance it by driving home. Assuming you haven't killed or seriously injured someone, most of the common DUI penalties can be found here. 

7. Criminal Mischief

If you damaged or attempted to damage personal property, you may find yourself charged with Criminal Mischief. This offense can be graded as low as a summary for damage below $500, all the way up to a 3rd-Degree Felony for instances of severe property damage. To learn more about the consequences for your particular offense, please visit the above link. 

8. Resisting Arrest

If police attempted to place you into custody, and you wiggled, turned your body away from the officer, struggled or otherwise engaged in violent behavior, you will find yourself charged with Resisting Arrest. A person commits this crime when he or she intends on preventing a lawful arrest and either creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to police, or behaves in a manner requiring the use of substantial force to overcome resistance. 

Possible Consequences: 2nd Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years of jail/probation, $5,000 fine, permanent criminal record. 

9. Simple Assault

If you threw punches, got into a bar fight, or became physically aggressive with police or other individuals, you can be charged with Simple Assault. This crime applies when a person causes, or attempts to cause, bodily injury to another person. Bodily injury includes impairment of physical condition or substantial pain. 

Possible Consequences: 2nd Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years of jail/probation, $5,000 fine, permanent criminal record. 

10. Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer

Police officers and medical personnel are afforded special protection under the law. A crime that is a simple assault on a regular citizen will be charged as an Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer, a 2nd Degree Felony. For example, a person who causes a police officer to sustain minor injuries may be facing felony aggravated assault charges. 

Possible Consequences: Punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. 

11. Aggravated Assault - Generally

If you caused, or attempted to cause someone else to sustain serious bodily injury, or used a weapon to inflict injury on another, you may be facing aggravated assault charges. For example, if you swung a beer bottle at another person, knocked someone out cold during a fight, or otherwise caused someone to be seriously injured, you will be facing more than just a Simple Assault offense. 

12. Harassment

If you have struck, shoved, kicked or had unwanted physical contact with another, you may find yourself charged with summary harassment. You may be charged with summary harassment instead of Simple Assault if there were no injuries or your conduct was not as egregious and your "typical" fight. 

Possible Summary Consequences: Approximately $450 in fines and court costs, maximum sentence of up to 90 days in jail, and criminal record that cannot be expunged for minimum period of 5 years, and possibly permanently. 

CALL NOW - DONT WAIT UNTIL YOUR CHARGES COME IN THE MAIL TO SPEAK WITH AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

If you have had any interaction with police on St. Patrick's Day, you should immediately contact the Zuckerman Law Firm at 412-447-5580 for a free consultation. You can begin to feel better about your situation by speaking with a knowledgable criminal defense attorney who may assist you in navigating the justice system from start to finish.