I got a "Wisconsin Uniform Municipal Court Citation and Complaint" about "passing an open container of alcohol on public street" and required to pay $300 or appear in court. I'm 22 and I went to a bar for the very first time with friends and walked out with a half full cup of cranberry vodka. I was COMPLETELY unaware of any rule against having an open container in public. My friends didn't tell me, the bartenders who saw me walk out didn't tell me, the bouncer who saw me didn't tell me. Outside an officer was closely watching the bar and saw me and gave me the citation. I want to plead not guilty.
I can't afford a lawyer, do I need one? Can I get a public defender for free? This is my first time getting any citation or court appearance, I just want this dismissed with a warning.I just checked my ticket and noticed that it said I had a open container on a public street, but I know for a fact I was NEVER on a public street. Also the Officer was completely wrong on the time it happened, he put down PM when it happened AM. How can I use this to help me? Also, I just went to the local municipal office and asked them if I can have a public defender, and they said that they don't allow public defender for these types of things. I can still hire a lawyer at my own expense, but I already know I can't afford one. So I'll just have to explain the judge what happened and hope for a deal.