Possession of an Open Intoxicant in Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor hosts many sporting events, and people will often tailgate and walk from one location to another before or after they enter the stadium. Pursuant to local ordinances, though, people can be charged with possession of an open intoxicant in Ann Arbor, which is a misdemeanor crime. As such, people engaging in what they believe are innocent acts may face criminal consequences that impact their reputation and rights. If you were charged with possessing an open container of alcohol in Ann Arbor, it is crucial to meet with an attorney about your potential defenses as soon as you can. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a dedicated Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney who can assess the circumstances surrounding your arrest and help you seek the best outcome available under the facts of your case.Possession of an Open Intoxicant in Ann Arbor
Multiple Ann Arbor ordinances address the legality of possessing or consuming alcohol in public. Specifically, Ord. No. 09-18, § 1, 5-18-09 bars anyone from possessing an open, unsealed, or uncapped container of alcohol on a public street unless it is in an area where local ordinances expressly permit people to consume alcohol. In other words, people who carry around open bottles of alcohol can be charged with possession of an open intoxicant regardless of their age. Open containers include not only bottles of liquor, wine, and beer, but also open cans, flask, and cups of alcohol.
Additionally, the police can charge a person with possessing an open container of alcohol even if they do not observe them consuming any alcohol from the container. If a person is caught drinking alcohol in public, though, they may face additional charges, as Ord. No. 09-18, § 1, 5-18-09 prohibits people from consuming alcohol in public. In other words, it prohibits people from consuming alcohol in public parking lots or structures, on public streets, or in any part of a business that is open to the public if the business does not possess a liquor license for consumption on the premises.
Possessing an open intoxicant in public and consuming alcohol in public are misdemeanor offenses. People found guilty of such crimes may face a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to 90 days, or both.Avoiding a Conviction for Possession of an Open Intoxicant in Ann Arbor
People who are charged with possession of an open intoxicant or any other crime have numerous rights. For example, the police must have probable cause to stop or detain a person. If they lack probable cause, the search and seizure could be deemed unconstitutional, and any evidence found during a subsequent search, including any statements made by the person charged with the crime, may be inadmissible.
Further, the prosecution carries the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person charged with possession of an open intoxicant is guilty. In other words, they must produce evidence compelling enough to convince the judge or jury that there is no reasonable conclusion other than that the defendant committed the offense.
In some instances, it may seem as if the evidence against a person is so incriminating that a conviction is unavoidable. In such cases, though, an experienced attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to avoid a conviction, allowing the person to escape the consequence of having a criminal record.Contact a Trusted Ann Arbor Attorney Today
All criminal charges should be taken seriously, as even convictions for misdemeanors can mar a person’s job prospects and reputation. If you are charged with possession of an open intoxicant in Ann Arbor, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a trusted Ann Arbor criminal defense lawyer with ample experience defending people charged with possession of an open intoxicant and other crimes, and if he represents you, he will zealously advocate on your behalf. We have an office in Ann Arbor, and we regularly represent people in criminal matters throughout Michigan, including cities in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Dearborn, and Flint. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at (734) 883-9584 to set up a confidential and free meeting.