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I had a birthday party that I had spent a lot of money on…

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Hello my name is***** and...
Hello my name is***** and I had a birthday party that I had spent a lot of money on decorations for the party so I charged people five dollars to get in the door. The police came in with at least 25 officers and a dog with a search warrant for the building that I was in. That I had rented from someone. They gave me a ticket for storing alcohol and operating a business without an license because I charged at the door. I can not have this on my record & I definitely don't have ticket $
Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
9/19/2017
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 9 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
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Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Business license requirements tend to be governed by city ordinance, rather than state law. Can you tell me what city and county the party was in?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Pickens SC. Pickens county
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 9 months ago

Thank you. I'm going to see if I can find those ordinances, which can sometimes take a few minutes.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Okay! Thanks
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 9 months ago

The County Ordinances don't have anything that looks like it would apply here. And I found the Pickens City ordinances, but they don't specifically prohibit storage of alcohol. Do you have a code number on the citation?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
My dad had the tickets and I'm off at college. I'm just really worried. I don't want to have anything on my record, nor do I have money to pay a ticket ��
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 9 months ago

That's OK. I can go over most of it without reading that specific statute.

Section 9-81 of the city ordinance says, "Before any selling of any kind of goods, merchandise or services by any peddler, hawker, itinerant merchant or transient vendor, a business license must be obtained from the city." You clearly weren't selling goods or merchandise by asking people to pay a service charge. The problem is, they're going to say that you were selling services. The argument there is that people were being asked to contribute to your costs, not make you a profit.

For the alcohol charge, it would largely be the same - you'd want to argue that this was a private event, not a for-profit business, and that liquor laws don't apply because you weren't selling the alcohol.

You have a right to make them prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. That's a Constitutional guarantee. You can hire a lawyer if you wish, but because these offenses don't carry the possibility of jail, there's no right to a free lawyer.

Often, if you go in and agree to plead guilty to one ticket, they'll dismiss the other. That might be an option to avoid a trial and reduce the amount owed. And they will almost always allow you to make payments on the fine. They'll understand that you're a full time student.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 9 months ago

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you so much. Could this be on my record? I graduate next year & will start job searching and anything on my record wouldn't look good
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 9 months ago

If you pay the fine, it'll show up in a criminal background check. But it's not really considered any more serious than a traffic ticket, and it won't be an issue for most employers. Still, one ticket would look better than two.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Are there any options that would allow this not to be on my background?
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 9 months ago

The only way to guarantee that it won't be on your record is to successfully fight the charges, which means pleading not guilty and winning at trial. You have a right to try. If you go to trial and lose, both charges will wind up on your records and the fines may be higher. But you'll still get time to pay them.

It's also possible to ask the district attorney if they'll allow any sort of diversion program where the charges are dropped after you serve a term of probation and pay the fine. That's more common with first time drug offenses or first time shoplifting, but you can ask.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you so much for all of your help
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 9 months ago

You're very welcome. Good luck.

Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

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