How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask lwpat Your Own Question
lwpat
lwpat, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25386
Experience:  Actively practicing trial attorney
15417118
Type Your Legal Question Here...
lwpat is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

WE hosted a New Years Eve party with about 15 adults. Simultaneously

This answer was rated:

WE hosted a New Years Eve party with about 15 adults. Simultaneously my daughter who is 17 also hosted a party at which approximately 50 people attended mostly 17 and 18 year old kids. They were consuming alhoholic beverages that were brought into or snuck into our home we did not serve them anything but food. We were going to lock the door at 11 pm and have everyone spend the night. This worked fine until we had a young girl pass out and called 911. After the ambulance arrived so did the police who proceeded to break up the party requiring everyone to get a ride home from a responsible adult. No citations were issued to any of the minors, the girl that passed out is fine. They did issue me a citation for a open house party which I would like to know what my legal exposure is. I live in Canton Township, Michigan.
Thanks for using JA. I will do my best to answer your questions. DON’T FORGET, your deposit is not used to compensate me until you rate my service.

Here is a typical city code

House Parties
Sec. 66-234. Use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at social gatherings.
(a) Definitions. As used in this section:
Alcoholic beverage means an alcoholic liquor as defined in section 5 of the Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998 (MCL(NNN) NNN-NNNN.

Allow means to give permission for, or approval of, possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages or a controlled substance, by any of the following means:
(1) In writing.
(2) By one or more oral statements.
(3) By any form of conduct, including a failure to take corrective action, that would cause a reasonable person to believe that permission or approval has been given.

Control over any premises, residence, or other real property means the authority to regulate, direct, restrain, superintend, control, or govern the conduct of other individuals on or within that premises, residence, or other real property, and includes, but is not limited to, a possessory right.
Controlled substance is defined as that term as defined in section 7104 of the Public Health Code (MCL(NNN) NNN-NNNN.

Corrective action means any of the following:
(1) Making a prompt demand that the minor or other individual depart from the premises, residence, or other real property, or refrain from the unlawful possession or consumption of the alcoholic beverage or controlled substance on or within that premises, residence, or other real property, and taking additional action described in subsection (2) or (3) of this definition if the minor or other individual does not comply with the request.
(2) Making a prompt report of the unlawful possession or consumption of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the violation.
(3) Making a prompt report of the unlawful possession or consumption of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance to another person having a greater degree of authority or control over the conduct of persons on or within the premises, residence, or other real property.
Minor means an individual less than 21 years of age.

Premises means a permanent or temporary place of assembly, other than a residence, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(1) A meeting hall, meeting room, or conference room.
(2) A public or private park.
Residence means a permanent or temporary place of dwelling, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(1) A house, apartment, condominium or mobile home.
(2) A cottage, cabinet, trailer or tent.
(3) A motel unit, hotel unit, or bed and breakfast unit.

Social gathering means an assembly of two or more individuals for any purpose, unless all of the individuals attending the assembly are members of the same household or immediate family.
(b) Prohibited acts. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section, an owner, tenant, or other person having control over any premises, residence, or other real property shall not do either of the following:
(1) Knowingly allow a minor to consume or possess an alcoholic beverage at a social gathering on or within that premises, residence, or other real property.
(2) Knowingly allow any individual to consume or possess a controlled substance at a social gathering on or within that premises, residence or other real property.
(c) Exceptions. This section does not apply to the use, consumption or possession of a controlled substance by an individual pursuant to a lawful prescription, or to the use, consumption or possession of an alcoholic beverage by a minor for adult-supervised official, religious or educational purposes.
(d) Evidence of violation. Evidence of all of the following gives rise to a rebuttable presumption that the defendant allowed the consumption or possession of an alcoholic beverage or a controlled substance on or within premises, a residence, or other real property, in violation of this section:
(1) The defendant had control over the premises, residence, or other real property.
(2) The defendant knew that a minor was consuming or in possession of an alcoholic beverage or knew that an individual was consuming or in possession of a controlled substance at a social gathering on or within that premises, residence, or other real property.
(3) The defendant failed to take corrective action.
(e) Penalties. Penalties for violation of this section are as follows:
(1) For the first violation, a fine not exceeding $500.00 or imprisonment in the city jail for a term not to exceed 30 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(2) For subsequent violations, a fine not exceeding $500.00 or imprisonment in the city jail for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
In a case involving damage to the residence or room, a court may order the individual to pay restitution, which may include the reasonable loss of revenue resulting from the inability to rent or lease the room during the period of time the room is being repaired.
(Code 1974, § 4-8)
State law references: Open house parties, MCL 740.141a.

If appears that you will have been charged with a misdemeanor and will have to pay a fine but jail time would be highly unusual. You are lucky that the young lady is OK, otherwise you could be facing a civil suit. See

http://www.publicstrategies.org/PDF/20091015_Social_Host_While_Paper_Final_R3.pdf
lwpat and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the above information. If jail time is a possibility, do you recommend that I have an attorney with me for my court appearance. I do not intend to fight the charges.


 


What approach do I take with the presecutor other than telling the truth as I know it about what happened.


 


I am 50 years old and have never had a misdemeanor before.

You can ask for what is known as pretrial intervention (often called a deferment or probation before judgment) if you are willing to do some community service. There will be a fine also but the charges will be dismissed once you complete your community service. Explain that you were monitoring and that you did not provide anything.

Related Legal Questions