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Ask Colleen Grady Your Own Question
Colleen Grady
Colleen Grady, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 555
Experience:  Attorney and Counselor at Law
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I got an open container ticket in nyc while sleeping in a

Customer Question

hi. I got an open container ticket in nyc while sleeping in a parked car. the cop said I must appear in court but the back of the ticket says I can mail it in?
JA: Is this a civil court case or criminal court?
Customer: criminal court
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no. don't I just pay a fine?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: If I will just have to pay a fine I wont need a lawyer. I wasn't arrested just givin a ticket
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

Hello. I will help you today. I have been an attorney for 27 years. I am reviewing your question and will be back to you shortly.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

The ticket you received is a violation of the law. It is not a crime and it will not appear on a criminal record. You can pay the $25 fine by mail and the case will be over.

Here is what the law says:

§ 10-125 Consumption of alcohol on streets prohibited. a. Definitions.

Whenever used in this section, the following terms are defined as
1. Alcoholic beverage. Any liquid intended for human consumption
containing more than one-half of one percent (.005) of alcohol by
2. Public place. A place to which the public or a substantial group of
persons has access including, but not limited to, any highway, street,
road, sidewalk, parking area, shopping area, place of amusement,
playground, park or beach located within the city except that the
definition of a public place shall not include those premises duly
licensed for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the
premises or within their own private property. Such public place shall
also include the interior of any stationary motor vehicle which is on
any highway, street, road, parking area, shopping area, playground, park
or beach located within the city.

b. No person shall drink or consume an alcoholic beverage, or possess,
with intent to drink or consume, an open container containing an
alcoholic beverage in any public place except at a block party, feast or
similar function for which a permit has been obtained.
c. Possession of an open container containing an alcoholic beverage by
any person shall create a rebuttable presumption that such person did
intend to consume the contents thereof in violation of this section.
d. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the consumption
of an alcoholic beverage in any duly licensed establishment whose
certificate of occupancy extends upon a street.
e. Any person who shall be found to have violated any of the
provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than
twenty-five dollars ($25) or imprisonment of up to five (5) days, or
or pursuant to the provisions of the family court act of the state
of New York where applicable

You do not have to go to court. You can fill out the following plea form and mail it in:

Here is the procedure:

ffective July 1, 2004 individuals who receive a Criminal Court Summons citing a violation of Section 10-125 (2b) of the N.Y.C. Administrative Code - “Consumption of Alcohol on Streets Prohibited” ( also known as “Open Container Violation” or “Consumption of Alcohol in Public”) are eligible to plead guilty and pay a $25 fine by mail. This program is available to persons charged with this petty offense only, and only if no other summonses are issued to the individual at the same time.In order to plead guilty by mail you must send the following:the plea form, completed and signedthe summons you receivedcheck or money order for $25 made payable to NYC Criminal Court (DO NOT SEND CASH) with the summons number written on the paymentThe above items must be mailed within 10 days of the date that the summons was issued, to:N.Y.C. Criminal CourtP.O. Box 555New York, NY###-##-####/li>If you plead guilty by mail, you do not need to appear in Court.Please let me know if I can help more. If you are satisfied with my help, please rate me.