Three SDSU cops gave my son 22 yrs. and a student at SDSU an open container ticket on Thursday night. He had just left a second story apt. located behind SDSU was walking down the stairs to the middle of the complex, he tossed a red plastic solo cup in the trash at the bottom of the stairway. 3 cops jumped out from behind the stairway and handcuffed him. They asked why he threw the cup in the trash - he said the cup was empty so he threw it away. They took his license and realized he was over 21 - they also took his school ID number - and gave him a ticket for open container - they wrote on ticket that "Jungle Juice" was in the cup but didn't take the cup out of the trash. They didn't give him a breathalyzer - he hadn't even gotten out of the complex. Should we hire a lawyer??
Speeding / Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Yes definitely get an attorney . There appear to be major problems of proof that will be dealt with by your attorney .
Criminal Defense Attorney
You'll want to talk with an attorney before deciding whether or not to hire one. This is a fairly minor incident and you may decide the time and expense of fighting it is cost prohibitive. Look at the ticket and see if your son is cited for an infraction or a misdemeanor. If it's an infraction it won't count as a criminal conviction if your son simply pays the fine. If it's a misdemeanor a plea of guilty would result in a criminal conviction and your son would definitely want to avoid that result. Please feel free to call my office for a free consultation.
The police will have some serious trouble enforcing this ticket. Even if the ticket is an infraction, you son should not have to pay for over zealous police officers doing poor police work. Please take this opportunity to punish these police officers for doing sloppy work. Our tax dollars should not be spent on paying police officers to harass law-abiding college students that are not breakign the law. Please call my firm to discuss your options.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I'm not sure how they can prove at trial that it was alcohol in his cup if he dumped it out. If they charged this as a misdemeanor then you definitely need a lawyer. Even if they only charged it as an infraction it might be worthwhile to retain a lawyer. If they are sending him to the downtown San Diego courthouse then it is likely a misdemeanor; if they are sending him to the Courthouse on Clairemont Mesa (Kearny Mesa area) then it is likely an infraction. Many criminal lawyers such as myself give free consultations so it may be worthwhile for your son to contact a criminal attorney to discuss his situation.