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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal Defense Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 27080
Experience:  18+ years of high-volume criminal defense work from arraignment through plea or trial.
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Open container JA: The Traffic Lawyer will need to help you

Customer Question

open container
JA: The Traffic Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Traffic Lawyer can help you best. Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: open container but wasn't drinking from it. But had alcohol in system
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Traffic Lawyer should know?
Customer: bout it. Have clean record though
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Traffic Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello, In what state were you charged with this offense? Are you at least 21 years old? Were you also charged with a DUI? What is the question you have with regard to this incident.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Got open container but did not consume any of it but did have alcohol in system. Not over limit though. Initially stopped because said I didn't stop long enough at stop sign. I have a complete clean record too. In North Carolina.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. It does not matter whether you consumed any of this or not. According to your state's open container law, if you are transporting an open container in your vehicle -- the seal is broken -- so long as there is alcohol in your system, you can be charged with this misdemeanor offense. You can read the law for yourself here. If you've never been convicted of this case before, it is punishable as a class 3 misdemeanor. That has a penalty of 1 to 20 days of active, intermediate or community punishment. The odds of you having to do any jail time are just about zero with a clean record. But this can get you a misdemeanor conviction on your record. Therefore you may want to show up at your arraignment with a lawyer and see if he can either bargain this down to some sort of traffic infraction to avoid a criminal conviction, or get you a diversion type disposition where your charge gets dismissed upon completion of a brief period of supervision consisting of community service, fines, and staying out of further trouble with the law. If this does not tell you what you needed to know please reply with a follow up.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do have one seatbelt ticket from a year ago and one from about 6 years ago. That one in a different city. Would that factor in.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
The seatbelt offense would not enhance this penalty. A previous open container offense would change this from a 3rd degree misdemeanor to a 2nd degree misdmeanor, however.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm talkin about would that make the odds bigger of me going to jail. That is LITERALLY all I have ever had in the past
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay. I had another follow up I had to answer first. No. It would not enhance the odds of you serving any time in jail. This is a very low level offense, and your priors -- such as they are not serious either.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.