Since you’ve reached this page, it’s likely that are investigating the possibility of hiring a San Francisco Bay Area open container attorney. Either you or someone you love have been charged with an open container violation and you want to know what the next steps are. Let us be clear that the it’s never to early to speak to a lawyer about your charges. The sooner you begin defending yourself, the better will be the resulting outcome.
Should I Hire a San Francisco Bay Area Open Container Attorney?
You may think that the default answer we would give is “Yes.” However, that is not the case. An open container violation is a relatively minor charge by itself. Still, the goal with an open container, as with all charges, is to keep it off your record. It’s for this reason that hiring an open container attorney is highly recommended. No matter what, keeping you record as clean as possible is the best decision for your future. An attorney can do many things for your case, even save you money!
- Evaluate your unique case to help you understand your rights
- Negotiate with the police and prosecutors throughout the process
- Appear on your behalf in court so you don’t have to travel
- Negotiate a Plea Agreement for a lesser punishment
- Take your open container case through the entire criminal process
Feel free to continue reading below to learn more about an open container violation charge in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the associated penalties and defenses.
California Hit & Run Penalties
An open container charge is a relatively minor charge as mentioned previously. It falls under the category of a California infraction charge. This means there is no jail time associated with an open container conviction. They are solely punishable by a maximum fine of $250.
You might be thinking that this is a great news; $250 is much less than an attorney will cost. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. An open container violation will likely results in points on your driving record in California. This means that you insurance rates might go up or driving privileges could be restricted. This is one reason having a hit and run attorney by your side can be beneficial. Your lawyer can use one of the defenses below to help you get an outright dismissal of your charges.
SF Bay Area Open Container Defenses
There are almost an unlimited amount of possible defenses to any criminal charge. Open containers are not exempt from that rule. Only an experience Bay Area open container lawyer can sift through the details of your case and determine the best defense. For your information, below we provide some of the most common open container defenses.
- Illegal search and seizure. You may have been in possession of an open container; however, if the arresting officer didn’t obtain the evidence by following procedures, you have grounds for a dismissal of the charges.
- No probable cause to investigate you. Once again, maybe you had an open container, but the police officer didn’t have any reason to stop your for the initial traffic stop. This is just one of the many options showing lack of probably cause.
- Open container was in the trunk. In California, if you have an open container of alcohol in a part of your car that isn’t easily or regularly accessed by passengers, you are not guilty of possessing an open container.
- Open container was in a bus, taxi, limousine, or camper. Passengers of these vehicles are most definitely permitted to drink in the state of California, even though drivers are not. So if you were a passenger, you’re in luck.
It’s Time to Hire a San Francisco Bay Area Open Container Lawyer!
If you’ve read until this point, you’re probably feeling well-informed about open container laws in California. You’re familiar with the seriousness of the crime, the possible defense, and with what an attorney can do for you. Now it’s time to make a choice to keep your record clean or risk receiving a black mark that affects your future.