I'm over 21 and was recently ticketed for drinking alcohol in the public way. I was actually with friends who had beers, but I had no drink on me. Initially, my friend was questioned by the officer. When I came over to ask what the issue was and if we could just throw away the drink, I was roughed up a bit and given a ticket in violation of Code 8-4-030. I didn't refute it at the time because the cop had made loftier threats whenever I questioned him. I know the fine is $150, but is there also a mark on my record? Is it a misdemeanor? If I challenge it in a hearing, could my friends who received no violations retroactively face charges for drinking in public? I was also searched and put in handcuffs after asking about the situation. Does that legally constitute arrest?
If your side of the story is accurate, it sounds like you encountered an overzealous police officer. There is a good chance your case could either be dismissed or that you would be found not guilty, given the right defense. The outcome of your case should not affect the outcome of your friends' case. Please go see a criminal defense attorney. Bring all your paperwork with you.
It actually has a possible penalty of up to six months in jail. I don't mean to scare you, and jail time is usually waived by the city attorney so they can deal with the defendant without an attorney, but yes you were arrested. You have the right to trial, and no they usually do not charge retroactive drinking in public, since it is the pettiest of petty offenses. Mostly the only time that they usually are concerned about it is when the police use the arrest as a basis to search a person and find drugs, a weapon, etc.Sincerely,
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It is extremely unlikely that your friend would be charged if your defense blames him. In theory, it is possible. You are charged under the Chicago Municipal Code, not the criminal code, but since the ordinance carries jail time as a possible punishment, it is a misdemeanor.
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