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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney
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Okay, yesterday I received a ticket for "minor allowing to

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Okay, yesterday I received a ticket for "minor allowing to be served" and have a court date. My two friends blew a 1.0 alcohol level but I, myself, blew a 0.00. How do I fight this in court?

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Customer: Hello
Brandon M. :

Good evening. Thank you for your question. What evidence do they have of your guilt?

Customer: Only my word of saying that I'd taken a drink from a whiskey bottle prior to the cnvincyion
Brandon M. :

Do you know under what code section you are being charged?

Customer: They also failed to jot down on my citation that I'd blown a 0 on the breathalyzer, while on both of my friends citations it states what they blew
Customer: Hold on, i grab my citation really quickly.
Brandon M. :

Certainly. Take your time.

Customer: Okay I'm chrcking
Brandon M. :

No problem at all.

Customer: Statute 60-7-B-1
Customer: country code 03 agency code 103
Brandon M. :

Thank you. You said that your friends blew a 1.0. Could you have possibly meant a 0.01, or a 0.10? 1.0 would be fatal, 0.10 would be drunk, and 0.01 would be half a beer.

Customer: 0.10** I'm sorry, typo.
Customer: also, I'm 19, if that matters at all
Brandon M. :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX sense.

Customer: So, what is your advice?
Brandon M. :

I can potentially see why you were charged under this particular statute. The crime is not being under the influence of alcohol, consuming alcohol, or purchasing alcohol. Under subdivision (C) of that statute, "It is a violation of the Liquor Control Act for a minor to buy, attempt to buy, receive, possess or permit himself to be served with alcoholic beverages." (emphasis added). Possession means that it is within the person's domain and control. If you have a drink in front of you, holding it in your hand, for example, that is a violation of the law even if you have not consumed a drop of it.

Brandon M. :

You know the circumstances--do you believe that you had possession of alcohol, even if you did not consume any?

Customer: Well, I had possession of it prior to the citation, but blowing a 0 could say otherwise, am I wrong?
Customer: oh, i get you. There were only empty containers when I received the citation, the game warden issued a ticket for littering because there were beer cans in the vicinity.
Brandon M. :

Well, that's what we call "circumstantial evidence". :-) The state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that's certainly possible to prove with circumstantial evidence, but not as easy as proving with direct evidence.

Brandon M. :

If someone walks in the door wearing rain gear and soaked from head to toe, that is circumstantial evidence that it is raining outside. Direct evidence is if you look out the window and see rain falling. It's harder to prove that it is actually raining under the first scenario. Likewise, it is harder to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt that a minor had possession of alcohol if the minor isn't found to actually have possession of alcohol.

Customer: Right. They really only have my word, as they didn't taken any beer cans nor the bottle of whiskey with them as evidence as I know they are supposed to.
Brandon M. :

Correct. And the nuances of every situation is different, so I would recommend having the evidence, including the police report (which would be generally available after the first court appearance) and your case examined by an attorney in person before relying on any information as complete or advice. But that said, it's certainly going to be easier to prove possession with your friends who blew .10s.

Brandon M. :

With a .00 and empty containers, it raises questions, and only reasonable doubt is needed for a dismissal or acquittal.

Customer: Yeah, sadly they'll be in a bit more trouble, but since I blew a 0 I could potentially get off.
Brandon M. :

Well, it wasn't a good decision, but the good news is that it isn't likely to derail any of your lives. It's not like armed robbery. It's just not that serious an offense and I would seriously doubt that it would hold any of you back in your lives or careers.

Customer: The thing is, will my police report say that I blew a 0?
Customer: I just don't want to be put on probation and/or have community service, being a full time student and having a job can be potentially problematic.
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