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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience practicing attorney
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Is public consumption of alcohol considered a misdemeanor

Resolved Question:

Is public consumption of alcohol considered a misdemeanor? I was given a court date and on the paper I was given it said violation of city ordinance.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

DearCustomer- If there was no other offenses related to the incident then it should be a misdemeanor. I know of no public consumption statute that is a felony unless it would be related to another crime such as violence. Assuming this was just an open container violation it will be a misdemeanor.


Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My friend went to her court date today and told me that the judge was confused by the charge, {"She was drinking outside a bar, what?" was the conmment the judge made),I guess the description was poorly written. Upon the judge's confusion, an officer that she thought was not present at the scene whispered in his ear, the judge then proceeded to giver the option of class & community service hours & to pay a fine to not have the charge on her record or she could just pay a fine and have the charge. What are my options I have never experienced anything like this. I would choose the program, but with me hectic schedule I don't really have time.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

You certainly have a right to plead not guilty and contest the charge. Most of these ordinances are designed to prohibit drinking outside of the licensed establishments and are basically used to harass persons like you. The offense is a minor one yet it will appear on your record if you are convicted or plead guilty. I know these "programs" are a pain and what they really are is a way for the city to make money.


If she can do the program that will keep her record clean but if not the simplest thing to do is to pay the fine. The record can likely be expunged in the future if she receives no other violations.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She is an optometrist and would like to know if this charge will affect her renewing her license through the state fl? And does she have the option to accept the program after she declined it in court today and plead no contest?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

Well a no contest plea really is the same as guilty so that isn't going to matter. It would be up to the court whether they would now accept her into the program since she declined. I can't answer for the individual judge in a specific case. She would have to contact the court and tell them she would like to enter the program and see if something can be arranged.



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