I have been given citation for a Minor Misdemeanor for open container in vehicle. Have an arraignment date. They said no jail and max fine of $150. Should I just go in and plea guilty to get this over? Can they give me anymore of a sentence than what they stated? They didn't change me with anything else. Thanks
State/Country relating to question: Ohio
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Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX X'X a Criminal Law litigation attorney here to assist you.Open container offenses usually carry a maximum penalty of a $150 fine and no jail time. Thus, you can go to court and possibly even get the court to remand the case to the file if you're a first time offender, or at the very worst, you can plead no contest and move on. However, there's no threat of jail time for this offense. Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.62, entitled "Opened Container of Beer or Intoxicating Liquor Prohibited at Certain Premises" states:No person shall have in the person's possession an opened container of beer or intoxicating liquor in any of the following circumstances:(1) In a state liquor store; (2) Except as provided in division (C) of this section, on the premises of the holder of any permit issued by the division of liquor control; (3) In any other public place; (4) Except as provided in division (D) or (E) of this section, while operating or being a passenger in or on a motor vehicle on any street, highway, or other public or private property open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking; (5) Except as provided in division (D) or (E) of this section, while being in or on a stationary motor vehicle on any street, highway, or other public or private property open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking.This means that is illegal under Ohio law to possess in public an open container of an alcoholic beverage, subject to certain exceptions. These exceptions are: (1) when you are in a properly licensed liquor establishment such as a bar; (2) when you are in a chauffeured limousine; or (3) if the container is an opened bottle of wine that was purchased from an establishment licensed to sell wine for consumption on the premises, has been resealed by the owner before removed from the premises, and is stored in the trunk of your car or, if your car does not have a trunk, behind the last upright seat.
So don't plead guilty? Just no contest and they will impose fine then? They can't give probation or anything like that can they? I just don't want to go back to court again. I've never had this charge before. I had a dui 8 years ago, so would that affect this charge at all?
Pleading no contest just looks a little better than pleading guilty. Also, they just should assess a fine and that should be the end of it. No probation, etc.
I just wonder why it's not waiverable? Just trying to do the best thing for this situation. Thanks for your time.
I'm not sure why it's no waiverable either; maybe it's just because it's an alcohol related offense. However, you should be able to ask if you can go ahead and plea to the offense and be done. Hopefully, the judge will allow you to waive notice for the hearing, plea and pay your fine.
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