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Can the Police arrest you for Public Intoxication in YOUR backyard?!?
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Can the Police arrest you for Public Intoxication in YOUR backyard?!?

My roommate was getting drunk in our backyard. We have a three bedroom house, on three acres of land in Mansfield, Texas. We have an entirely fenced in property, and there is a wrought-iron gate leading to our three acre backyard where the roommate in question was getting drunk. He apparently was being too loud, the Mansfield Police pulled up to our gate which leads to the backyard where he was, and proceeded to OPEN OUR CLOSED BACKYARD GATE and come into our backyard and arrest my roommate for PUBLIC intoxication. This happened about an hour ago, and as it is the middle of the night, we can do nothing about it at this point. This CANNOT be legal, can it?
Additional Details
To answer alot of the people's main question here. I would have no reason o lie, this is Yahoo! Answers for God's sake. He didnt mouth off, he's a very compliant person with police and when he made the phonecall from the Jail, was really, in reality, not all that drunk. He was listening to his music in his truck too loud I believe. But by the time the officer got here, he was heading back inside, so the officer himself had nothing to witness as far as obnoxious or loud behavior.
**On another note, we have had up to 100 people partying on our property before, and the Police came, and I personally walked up to the gate and as the Officer tried to open it, I closed and spoke to him politely through the gate, he instructed me to "Open the gate" but I told him, "No, I live here, and this gate is not opening". He complied as if he could do nothing and said he would wait outside then with a Patty Wagon to arrest all that left. But he and the other two cruisers left, and arrested no one. So.?


As far as entering your property, that is legal. Any public official can enter private property on official business. Keep in mind, this was not a random check. They obviously received a complaint, and were obligated to investigate.

I found the Texas Penal code defines "intoxication", but I could not find a definition of "public". My guess is because the noise could be heard off your property line, it was considered public.

You sort of answered the question when you said he was "being too loud". That makes it public. I'll give you an example. You have a right to privacy in your own home. And you can expect that being nude in your home violates no law, right? However if you purposefully stand nude in front of your open window where you can be seen from the private property of another or from the public right of way, you are in violation of the law. In other words, you have no reasonable right to privacy if your actions can be plainly viewed by the public. The same applies to your drunk friend "being loud" in the back yard. It obviously disturbed someone. The police have the right to enter a closed back yard to investigate. Your gate means nothing in that particular instance. It may be arguable that the act more closely fits the violation of non-criminal noise ordinance that carries a lesser penalty. But, be honest, is it possible that your roommate (being in his current state of intoxication) might have gotten mouthy and refused to comply with the Police Officer's order to pipe down? If the police are called, they have to respond. If they arrive and hear a commotion, they are duty bound to investigate. If they encounter a person who refuses to comply with a lawful order to cease disturbing the peace, they will rectify that situation by arresting the person. You cannot do something on your property that breaches the peace and maintain any expectation of privacy. I hope that helps.

Sure it's legal. If he would have kept his mouth shut...they would probably have just kept driving. When your voice extends past your property line...then you are invading public space & you can be arrested for that in California...so I bet Texas can't be too much different if your friend got busted.
If the fool was yelling stupid stuff at the cops...then that might be one reason why they came in & took him away. Let him sleep it off in jail & you'll probably get a call from him in the morning!

If you are disturbing the peace then, yes. Anytime you can be seen or heard by other person(s) , you need to give regard .
You cant walk around naked on your three acres if you are in view of others.
Lets say you lived in the city. If you walk around naked in your house , close your blinds first. You can also be charged.
The charges vary from state to state.

I know it sounds unfair.
Just try to drink , be merry and not too loud. lol.

Hey, did your roommate resist arrest or anything?

He must have been causing a disturbance in order for the police to be called.

Julia S
If he was disturbing the peace, yeah, he can. Keep him inside if he's a loud drunk. Just be glad that he's not underage, or you'd probably all be in jail.

LUCKY HE DID NOT GET SHOT.."in the middle of the Night with a weapon (beer bottle) in his hand .being louder than the police..b a d

Did the neighbor complain or something?

Jason P
Don't worry about it. A good lawyer WILL get this thrown out.

Yes, I had it happen to me but the charges were dropped. It was such b.s.

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