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What are the consequences for an open container infraction? Business and Professions Code Section 25620

Cypress, CA |

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was walking to a house party in Berkeley, CA carrying an alcoholic beverage in an opened can. Unaware of the consequences of doing so I was stopped by the police and issued with a citation (labelled as an infraction) for breaking Section 25620 of the Business and Professions Code- carrying an opened container of alcohol. The police told me I would have to pay a small fine and it was a public offense.

Upon contacting the court the person I spoke to over the phone said I should be prepared to pay a fine of approximately $500. Is this usual? Also I am from overseas and do not possess a CA drivers license. Will this infraction be recorded on my criminal record in the US and affect my future employment in the US?

Please let me know.

Thanks in advance!

I forgot to mention that I am 22 years old

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Attorney answers 1


Yes, these types of citations / infractions generally are taken care of with a fine. The fine is set by local or state law, so it may very well be $500 - that was one expensive drink!

Yes, if an employer subscribes to and checks certain background services for job applicants then it will show up on your report, at that point is up to the employer to decide if they wish to proceed with hiring you or not (each employer sets its own policies as to what eliminates candidates and what does not.) Depending on the federal policies in place at the time you apply for a work visa, it may also impact your ability to be approved for a work visa.

Pay a lawyer and fight the citation is an option, you decide if it is worth it or if you want to risk it.

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.



Thanks for that. As the citation was issued in California. If an employer from another state sought to undertake a background check, will it come up? As this is my first ticket of any kind in my life, do you think it is worthwhile asking the judge if I can participate in an Options Program (alcohol education class) instead of being convicted of this/receiving this on my record? If so, what are my chances?

Brian S Wayson

Brian S Wayson


1) yes, 2) yes, 3) no way of telling, call the clerk of court and ask him or her