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What happens when you get a drinking in public ticket? will I get my license taken away?

Northridge, CA |

I was at a public park late at night, the cops showed up and gave us a drinking in public ticket. I'm scared that there going to take my license away I wasn't driving or anything. so I was wonder what should I expect in court? oh, and another thing I got the ticket this month of July and why is my court appointment the same month in july? do they send u stuff in the mail about court?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. Your license will not be impacted for this charge. Don't worry. You are looking at 1 to 3 years of unsupervised probation, some alcohol classes (probably AAs) and some fines and possibly some community service. If you can hire an attorney do so, an attorney may be able to get you a real reduction and lower it to an infraction.

    Sharon Paris Babakhan

  2. They should send you a letter with your arraignment date (court date) with where and when you have to appear. Now you sound like you might be under 21. If so, then the DMV will suspend your license for one year, sorry. And if you aren't currently able to drive (under 16), then the DMV will delay issuing you a license for one year once you are eligible. A BP 25662 offense (minor in possession) is serious and you should probably retain an attorney, so as to reduce the crime to an infraction.

    Now if you're over 21, then you've violated PC 647(f), commonly referred to as "drunk in public". This charge carries the potential for jail time, however, depending on the circumstances, you can get a DEJ program sentenced (treatment program), which would result in a dismissal if you successfully complete the program.

    Either way, I'd speak to an attorney. Good luck.

    The answer above is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship. The above response should not be relied upon for any specific situation. If you need legal advice specific to your needs, you should consult with a licensed attorney.

  3. If you are under 21, yes, a conviction for public intoxication will result in losing your license. A conviction for ANY alcohol related offense will result in license suspension.

    Don't bet on getting anything in the mail for a public intoxication charge. It's not like a speeding ticket that you can just pay. You MUST appear in court on day you were cited to appear. If you don't, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

    Good luck!

    Any information provided through in response to a question is not, and cannot be considered a formation of any Attorney-Client relationship. Questioner understands that the nature of this system allows only for a cursory review of case information, and more detailed information should not be divulged in this public forum. As such, Questioner is recommended to contact an Attorney in order to discuss the full details of their case and a more specific advisement of potential rights and liabilities.

  4. Zero tolerance alcohol consumption for minors is nationwide. Most states, including California, will suspend the license of a minor found intoxicated in a public place even if not driving. In fact, if out of state, the offense will generally be reported to your home state under the National Database System and interstate compact. Maybe a California attorney can manage a reduced charge to an offense not resulting in suspension; if allowed.

    The Zero tolerance movement in many instances, in my opinion, result in a punishment (suspension) that is too severe for the offense. It also results, at least in Illinois, cops insisting on breath tests of minors under dubious circumstances. Good luck.

  5. Unless you're under 21 your license will not be taken away. It is not
    unusual to have the first appearance date called the arraignment in the
    same month you may not get another notice from the court

  6. If this park was in Northridge and you are over 18, you will be summoned to the San Fernando Courthouse. Likely, you will be placed on summary non reporting Probation, pay a fine, attend alcohol classes and lose your license for up to one year (per DMV suspension). There should be a court date on your citation. If not, you should always call the Court to confirm your information and when you need to appear.

    If you have an attorney, you do not need to appear, your attorney can appear for you. I suggest you hire a criminal defense attorney because this is serious. If you are interested, feel free to give me a call for a consultation.

    Seth Weinstein, Esq.
    Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
    (310) 707-7131

    This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.

  7. If you are a minor you most likely will lose your license IF you are convicted of any alcohol related offense. Hire an attorney to try and work out a deal to a non-alcohol related offense. Good luck but more important hire someone that can guide you.

    Contributions to do not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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