My 21 yr. old son, who is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, was cited over the weekend for an open container violation--- having an open beer can on public property. He was walking on the side walk with 3 other students who also had beer, but in plastic cups. However, he was the only one cited. This is his first violation of any kind. My question is: What are the ramifications of this misdeanor as he will be applying for jobs in the very near future. Should he just go to court and pay the fine, or will a lawyer be able to get this charge explunged from his records.
2 Answers from Attorneys
He needs to speak to a criminal defense attorney...DO NOT pay the fine which is pleading guilty until you at least speak to an attorney.
Does your son have a clean driving and criminal record? If he does, he may be eligible for a deferred prosecution. This means he can do some sort of approved community service and/or alcohol education classes and then his case will be dismissed.
Is your son a U.S. citizen? If so, he can then apply for an expungement which will wipe his record clean so he can respond to potential employers' questions as to whether he has ever been charged with such an offense with a resounding no!