A suspect had just gotten off work and was called by his roommate to pick him up from a party. The roommate had been drinking. After the suspect and roommate pulled into their driveway, two police officers on foot approached them. The officers asked if anyone had been drinking. The suspect informed the officers that he had not been drinking because he had just gotten off work. As the officer was questioning the roommate the officer noticed an open container in the roommate’s pocket. The officer then proceeded to charge the suspect under the Open Container Law in Michigan for transporting open alcohol.
The punishment for open container in Michigan or the transportation of open liquor in Michigan is up to 93 days in jail and a $100 fine for a first offense. In addition to these penalties, a person could also be facing other consequences such as probation for up to 2 years, community service, and could be banned from drinking alcohol while on probation.
When a suspect is facing a criminal charge, it is always the burden of the prosecutor to prove the offense. In order for the County Prosecutor to prove the offense of open container in Michigan they would have to show that the suspect: 1. was transporting or possessing 2. an alcoholic liquor 3. in a container that is open or uncapped or where a seal is broken and that is:
a) within a passenger compartment of a vehicle on a highway, or
b) within the passenger compartment of a moving vehicle in any place open to the public, or
c) generally accessible to a motor vehicle that is in an area created for parking vehicles.
As a general tip, always transport alcohol in your trunk.
Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Open Container in Michigan
Defenses in any criminal case vary depending on the facts and situation of the individual case. No case is exactly the same. Make sure to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer when charged with a crime. Here are a few examples of defenses to open alcohol in Michigan:
Person was not in possession of any alcoholic liquor
A person was not in the vicinity of a motor vehicle
A person was not aware of open alcohol in the vehicle
The police did not have a valid reason to stop the vehicle
The police did not have a valid reason to search the vehicle
If you have been charged with Open Container or another crime contact Michigan criminal lawyer, Aaron J. Boria today (734) 453-7806