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Student Legal Advocate- Alcohol Related Offenses

Alcohol Related Arrests Damage a Young Person's Future!

Most alcohol related offenses are filed as misdemeanors in Butte County Court. A misdemeanor alcohol conviction will always be part of your child's record. This will affect employment, scholarships, some college funding and even housing. Don't let your child slip through the cracks. Let an experienced Attorney fight for your family's rights! We offer a 20% discount to full time students! 

Minor in Possession - Drunk in Public - Open Container - Fake ID - Urinating in Public - Transporting Alcohol


Minor in Possession

California's "minor in possession" law is Business and Professions Code 25662 . This law prohibits minors under 21 from possessing an alcoholic beverage in any public place. This can be charged as a misdemeanor or infraction. For holidays (Labor Day, Pledge Week, Halloween, New Years, St. Patricks Day, Graduation Weekend) in the Chico area, the District Attorney usually files this as a misdemeanor.

A Minor in Possession conviction will result in a permanent alcohol related conviction on your record, and a 1 year driver's license suspension. 

Drunk in Public

The Penal Code 647(f) statute addresses a person who is out in public and extremely intoxicated. Examples would include someone who is falling down drunk, passed out on the sidewalk, or trying to start fights because of his drunken state.

This is always a misdemeanor charge. A conviction for "drunk in public" can trigger probation, fines, and even incarceration. Worse still, a conviction will go on your permanent criminal record, and can be seen by prospective employers and licensing agencies. If under 21 years of age, this will suspend your driver's license for 1 year! Therefore, it is advisable that you do everything possible to avoid this conviction.

Fake ID

Business and Professions Code 25661.  Any person under the age of 21 years who presents evidence of age and identity which is false, fraudulent or not actually his or her own for the purpose of ordering, purchasing, attempting to purchase any alcoholic beverage, or who has in his or her possession any false evidence of age and identity, is guilty of a misdemeanor. This will also result in a one year driver's license suspension. If you are on a student visa this can present problems regarding your status.

Urinating in Public

You can be arrested for public urination under both state and local laws in California. This can be filed as a misdemeanor “improper disposal of waste matter," a municipal code treated as an infraction, or a variety of code sections.

Public urination may be considered disorderly conduct (California Penal Code section 647) or creating a public nuisance (California Penal Code section 372). Very rarely, people are charged with the more serious crime of indecent exposure (California Penal Code section 314), a misdemeanor that requires “lewd” behavior.

Most city ordinances classify public urination as a criminal offense, and prohibits urination even on private property, if it’s visible from a public place. We've successfully had charges such as these dismissed. 

California Vehicle Code Section 23136 - it is illegal for a person under 21 years of age to drive a vehicle with ANY measurable amount of alcohol.

(A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01% or higher.)  If an driver under the age of 21 is suspected of having a BAC of .01% or higher, the arresting/investigating officer will take away his/her California driver’s license and provide him/her with a pink slip entitled “notice of suspension and temporary driver’s license.”  Again, the procedure following receipt of this document is the same as in adult cases.  The ten (10) day rule for reserving an APS hearing through the DMV goes into effect immediately.  If the DMV hearing is lost, the under 21 driver’s license will be suspended for one year.  

Under 21 and transporting Alcohol

California Vehicle Code 23224 prohibits you from driving a car knowing that it contains any alcoholic beverage (whether opened or unopened), or being a passenger in a car and knowingly possessing an alcoholic beverage (again, regardless of whether it is opened or unopened).

This is a misdemeanor charge. This requires a mandatory 1 year driver’s license suspension.

There are a variety of California laws that all essentially prohibit the same conduct: driving (or riding in) a car with an open bottle, can or cup containing an alcoholic beverage. These laws are:

Vehicle Code 23221 VC – drinking in a car,

Vehicle Code 23222(a) VC – possessing an open container in a car,

Vehicle Code 23224 VC – possession of an open container in a car by a person under 21,

Vehicle Code 23225 VC – storing open containers in a trunk,

Vehicle Code 23226 VC – storing open containers in the passenger compartment

Please contact my office at 530-580-8LAW ( 530-580-8529) and we'll provide you with a free consultation.

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