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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 110363
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I recently got an ordinance violation in Chicago alcohol in

Customer Question

Hi Pearl, I recently got an ordinance violation in Chicago for having alcohol in a cooler in a public park. I was not intoxicated. The police officer ran over to my friend and yelled that he had to open the cooler. He complied and the officer found beer in the cooler.
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: Chicago yesterday
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, I have a video of the officer yelling at me as I ask if I can go and why I am being ticketed. There was no signage up about no alcohol in the park.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: The officer also took my bag and held my arm while he took it away
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Criminal Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The violation is 10-36-185, which is found here.
Only talks about their ability to enforce the rules.The code of the park I violated is here.
No alcoholic beverages shall be sold, brought within, given away, delivered or consumed on park property, except pursuant to permits or concessions issued pursuant to this Code.Bear in mind, this was 11am and I was completely sober walking to the beach.According to the park district map, I literally stepped 10 feet into the park when the cop ran over and demanded my friend opens the cooler. A part of it is also on film where I am saying to cop, "I will take this home if it is a problem, this rule is not stated anywhere" and then they get a sign out of their car to put up saying no alcohol allowed past this point.
Cop also grabbed me, but I am unsure if that helps dismiss the case.Tough situation. Is it worth the effort to fight for a fine? My thought process is there has to be some group in Chicago that deals with violations often enough to have a standard process in place for getting these dismissed like parking tickets.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

They do not have a group that deals with these citations like they do parking tickets. The good news is that the citation is not a criminal violation, so it does not cause you to have a criminal record. However, if there was nothing posted warning you about bringing alcohol onto the property and you had only gone 10 feet onto the property as you said, then you do indeed have grounds to plead not guilty and go to court and present that evidence to the court. You would of course have to invest your time to go to court or hire an attorney to do so.

The fact is a person cannot be guilty of a violation without having notice of what the law is and if the law was not posted where you were walking anywhere, then you had no knowledge that you should not bring the alcohol onto the property.

The "cop grabbing you" does not really have anything to do with the citation. If you want to make a complaint about that, you have to contact the department's internal affairs division and do so.