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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3152
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Do I have to pay ? How do I know your legitimate?

Customer Question

Do I have to pay for this? How do I know your legitimate?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry- I didn't know I had one chance left for my question. Here is my issue. I currently live in Minnesota and I recently went on a week long trip to Honolulu, Hawaii. I was visiting a friend who works there. On our second day there we went to a public beach and I brought a 6 pack of canned beer. My friend was actually working so I was with others who she knows who had brought liquor to the beach as well. As soon as I opened my can of beer cops showed up on ATV's saying they had a complaint from a family that we were drinking which is literally impossible because I had about two sips of it. My other friends were drinking out of glass bottles and somewhat hiding them and I thought they were because I figured glass was illegal on the beach (like in MN)...but I had a can. They wrote me a citation for "prohibition" and gave me a court date which is on May 8th. They said in Hawaii drinking in public is a crime and technically they could have arrested me. They tried to be nice and say that it'll get taken off my record and they were just doing their job. I called the court and they told me to write a letter explaining myself and saying I'm not from here which I did. They just sent me a letter back saying if I'm unable to attend court (which i'm not it's in hawaii), that I need to ask for a continuance by mail or plea by mail. What should I do? Will this be on my record as a crime?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was not being disruptive and I was not publicly intoxicated. I was very compliant. They did not even ask that I blow so they could get a BAC. I really don't want to have a bench warrant out for my arrest because I can't attend court but I want to know if I should plead guilty or not guilty and what will happen if I do either? My trip to Hawaii was so expensive and I do not want to have to pay a large fine. And they also never even gave me a price because it didn't just count as an infarction...on my ticket the "criminal" box is checked :(
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In my original letter I explained that I was unable to attend court because I don't plan on being back and that I did not know the laws because I was a tourist and no one ever explained to me. I said I would not have had a beer out if I'd have known it was illegal and that I did not want to disrespect the island. And they basically wrote back not answering my question and just reminding me of my court date. Should I plea by mail? I called another number and no one answered and I left a voicemail but they said if I leave a local number they'd call I'm unsure that they will because I have a Minnesota area code.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We also spoke with the family after the cops left who they said, "complained" and they said they did not even make a call. They said they didn't even see us drinking and that they didn't care. They also pointed me out only because my can was in clear view when the cops knew others I was with were drinking.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question and for asking for me. I am sorry, I was out of town on a client matter and did not have access to the internet as I needed.Do you still need assistance on this matter?

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