Although P.C. 647(f) is usually charged as a Misdemeanor, it is often handled on the Infraction calendar in court if it is the sole charge. Most cases involve a person who is intoxicated and asleep on the sidewalk or at a Metro stop. Since no driving is involved, a lawyer can often negotiate a dismissal with the prosecutor or Judge in return for some AA classes. Which is why you should NEVER plead guilty before consulting a lawyer.
Yes. Like any misdemeanor, Public Intoxication will result in a criminal record.
Not always. The police may choose to release you once you sober up with no charges, especially if it is your first time. In that case, the police will usually send you a letter advising that you that you were not arrested, only detained.
No. The police officer’s observations (ie. odor, gait, speech…etc.) will suffice.