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Archive for June, 2009

Public Drunkenness Arrests in San Jose: Excessive and Discriminatory?

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Compelling statistical data compiled by the San Jose Mercury News from 2007 has established that San Jose Police cited and arrested more people with public drunkenness than anywhere else in the State.  A disproportionate number of those arrested were Latino, relative to their representation in the general population.

The fact is that notwithstanding the legitimacy and policy considerations behind such arrests, right or wrong, these arrests carry the devastating stigma of a criminal arrest, and impact an arrestee’s life with potential lifelong negative consequences.  And oftentimes, these arrests are resolved informally by way of an arrestees’ participation in A.A. meetings, or other counseling.  This is an obviously more preferable route to proceed for many arrestees, even the innocent ones, when faced with the prospect of time consuming, expensive, and stressful court appearances.

In response to growing complaints about the disproportional high level of arrests at large, and of Latinos, in particular, the San Jose City Council voted on June 2, 2009 that San Jose Police not charge people with being drunk in public until the sixth offense within a twelve month period.

If you or someone you know has questions regarding criminal charges contact the San Jose criminal lawyers of the Law Offices of Bernard P. Bray.

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