I was issued a ticket for open container. It was a clear glass with bourbon inside the cup-holder in my car. I plan on contesting the citation because the officer has no way of proving that it was in fact alcohol. I can not believe that officers would save the liquid and send it to an fdle lab for analysis for a simple civil infraction. How would the state in fact prove that it was alcohol and not another liquid that smells like alcohol?
This is an ingenious defense, were it not for the fact that your just admitted on a public website what that liquid is. I suspect most courts will permit officers to testify that they know what alcohol smells and tastes like. But it is an interesting defense. I suggest that not post any additional details here, as it is easy for a motivated officer to check up on you. Good luck.
The response I have provided is general in nature, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. My practice is based in Rhode Island, and the law and practice in other states or jurisdictions may be different.
Generally, the officer will testify to something having the appearance of alcohol and an odor of an alcoholic beverage. That is the most common way I have seen to establish something is alcohol at the violation level. It should be noted that I do not practice in Florida, but in my experience, thats how its done.
They have proof now. Your just made a confession on line. Congratulations.
Anything that you post on Avvo (or similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, and as this is an open forum there is no attorney client privilege attached, so be careful (forewarned is forearmed.)
My advise: Get off line and hire a lawyer. I am certain that you will need one.
I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.)
Officer: "I smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the passenger compartment and observed a cup in plain view that contained a liquid substance, which, from my training experience, appeared to be an alcoholic beverage, based upon the strong odor emanating from it."
Judge: "Based upon the evidence, I find that the offense did occur, [enter penalty]"
You: "But,... but...."
Hire an attorney and stop making admissions on the internet.
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