I was cited last night for public consumption of alcohol after leaving my neighbor's house, directly across the street from my house. I left my alcohol on the sidewalk when the police officers approached me. They cited me for public consumption of alcohol. First off all, is the sidewalk directly across the street from my house public property? And also, what possible penalties will I be facing? I have past criminal history, including DUIs, from a different state (the most recent was from about 7 years ago).
2 Answers from Attorneys
Yes, generally the sidewalk on a public street is location that can result in the type of charges you are facing. The maximum penalty is 4 months in jail and a $750 fine plus surcharges. Although I can't promise anything, it's very unlikely you will receive jail time for this, but the outcome will depend on the overall circumstances: which the court it's pending in, your record, who the prosecutor is, who your attorney is, etc. Although it's comparatively speaking a minor charge, it is still a crime. I suggest you have directly consulted an attorney about your circumstances.
You are not likely looking at jail time for this offense. However, you may want to avoid accumulating another criminal conviction on your record. Although a prosecutor and a judge will be interested in your past criminal history, it will not serve as a sentencing enhancement. You may be surprised how the law defines “public property” as it relates to this offense. You may have some possible defenses to this charge. You should consult an attorney for a detailed consultation.
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