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  • Open Container Ticket

    So this happened to me about 6 years ago and have always felt like I kind of got screwed over for being honest and trying to do the right thing. Thought I'd post my story on here and get some opinions.

    I was out with a group of friends one night and was pretty drunk so I let a girl that was with us drive my car because she was the only sober one. On our way home at 6am, she got pulled over for not using her blinker. So the officer comes up to the car (which I'm sure reeked of alcohol due to 3 other drunk people in it) and started asking the usual questions. At this point I had noticed an empty liquor bottle on the floorboard of the backseat...I think one of the guys with us was keeping it because college kids like to decorate with empty liquor bottles. lol So he asks me if there was anything he should know about it the car and I immediately told him about the bottle. Well long story short, the girl driving got arrested for DUI (It was later dismissed when her blood tests came back) and they got us all out of the car for questioning. So next the officers (at this point there were about 6) started asking about drugs and when I said I didn't have any they called in a canine. So after they take the canine around my car he tells me that the dog alerted. I was watching the whole time and the dog did the same thing the whole time so I'm pretty sure he didn't but they search my car anyways and surprise surprise, found nothing. So after all this, he writes me an open container ticket and has me call my mother to come pick me up. When she gets there, he tells her that I had been smoking weed in my car when I had never smoked in my life...I suppose he was just mad that the search came up empty.

    So fast forward to my court date. I was a broke college kid so I just planned to go to court and set up a payment plan on my ticket. Didn't want to fight it. So when they call my name I tell the judge that was the reason I was there and he asked me to explain what happened anyways. So I tell the whole story and he says "Let me confirm that with the officers and if that's how it happened I will dismiss the ticket because the driver should have received it, not you". I'm instructed to come back the following week which I do, and when I walk in the lobby the officers are standing there and call me over. They tell me that the judge is going to dismiss the ticket so they went ahead and transferred the charges to county because "they're views on open container tickets are different". The officers then told me my court date at county before the ticket had even been dismissed.

    A few weeks later I go to the county court date, start to explain the whole story to the judge and when I got to the part about city dropping the charges he cuts me off and says that its all irrelevant and rules that I'm guilty.

    So instead of paying the original amount for the ticket which I had wanted to do in the first place, I then had to pay all the court costs, my ticket, was put on DA supervision for 6 months and had to pay the DA a monthly fee and check in with them, and got 30 hours of community service!

    So 6 years later and I'm still sour about the whole thing and have always wondered about the legality of the situation. Can city officers just transfer charges to county whenever they don't like the verdict? This is a small town in Oklahoma if that makes a difference. All opinions on the matter are welcome. Thanks guys!

  • #2
    Originally posted by rdrnnr_04 View Post
    So this happened to me about 6 years ago and have always felt like I kind of got screwed over for being honest and trying to do the right thing. Thought I'd post my story on here and get some opinions.

    I was out with a group of friends one night and was pretty drunk so I let a girl that was with us drive my car because she was the only sober one. On our way home at 6am, she got pulled over for not using her blinker. So the officer comes up to the car (which I'm sure reeked of alcohol due to 3 other drunk people in it) and started asking the usual questions. At this point I had noticed an empty liquor bottle on the floorboard of the backseat...I think one of the guys with us was keeping it because college kids like to decorate with empty liquor bottles. lol So he asks me if there was anything he should know about it the car and I immediately told him about the bottle. Well long story short, the girl driving got arrested for DUI (It was later dismissed when her blood tests came back) and they got us all out of the car for questioning. So next the officers (at this point there were about 6) started asking about drugs and when I said I didn't have any they called in a canine. So after they take the canine around my car he tells me that the dog alerted. I was watching the whole time and the dog did the same thing the whole time so I'm pretty sure he didn't but they search my car anyways and surprise surprise, found nothing. So after all this, he writes me an open container ticket and has me call my mother to come pick me up. When she gets there, he tells her that I had been smoking weed in my car when I had never smoked in my life...I suppose he was just mad that the search came up empty.

    So fast forward to my court date. I was a broke college kid so I just planned to go to court and set up a payment plan on my ticket. Didn't want to fight it. So when they call my name I tell the judge that was the reason I was there and he asked me to explain what happened anyways. So I tell the whole story and he says "Let me confirm that with the officers and if that's how it happened I will dismiss the ticket because the driver should have received it, not you". I'm instructed to come back the following week which I do, and when I walk in the lobby the officers are standing there and call me over. They tell me that the judge is going to dismiss the ticket so they went ahead and transferred the charges to county because "they're views on open container tickets are different". The officers then told me my court date at county before the ticket had even been dismissed.

    A few weeks later I go to the county court date, start to explain the whole story to the judge and when I got to the part about city dropping the charges he cuts me off and says that its all irrelevant and rules that I'm guilty.

    So instead of paying the original amount for the ticket which I had wanted to do in the first place, I then had to pay all the court costs, my ticket, was put on DA supervision for 6 months and had to pay the DA a monthly fee and check in with them, and got 30 hours of community service!

    So 6 years later and I'm still sour about the whole thing and have always wondered about the legality of the situation. Can city officers just transfer charges to county whenever they don't like the verdict? This is a small town in Oklahoma if that makes a difference. All opinions on the matter are welcome. Thanks guys!
    I call BS. If the driver really was sober she wouldn't have been arrested for DUI. We don't just blindly arrest people. And the open container laws vary from state to state. Some states give it to the driver no matter what and others only factor in what is in the drivers immediate reach.

    Oh and how the hell would you know If the dog alerted?

    Yes the officer lied to your mom because he was mad.....

    It's a summary offense get over it.

    Your whole situation sounds sketchy at best.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know how you get found guilty at a prelim unless you admit to the offense.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bull Sh**t.

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh, before you get too butt hurt, you DID ask for opinions. In addition to my opinion, which is a matter of record, I have a suggestion. Get over it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yea i call BS also , First off if you left because the city police told you to the next week instead of the judge you would have had a warrant out for you for not showing up when the judge called the docket.Doesnt matter if he was going to dismiss the ticket or not.You still have to show up in person before the judge.Thats when you get the get out of jail free card ,time or a new court date.

            Hell i wish the people here would leave just because i told them to when they showed up for court.We would be running bench warrants for months .

            Comment


            • #7
              Yea this is complete bs. You had a empty liquor in your backseat that you didn't know about? And of course the cop told your mom you had weed, because he was scorned with the fact that he couldn't find any on you. Also of course the cop arrested your friend for no good reason, because he's a Nazi *******. Ok now that we got that settled you can go to your next Eric Gardner and Ferguson march with your " I can't breathe" t shirt.

              Comment


              • #8
                Total BS.. He starts off with "I was pretty drunk..." and then remembers the clear, vivid details of the sobriety of the driver, right down to the canine alerting? Whatever.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I believe you have an encouraging future in fiction writing...stick with it you're good at it

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How can you tell to what the dog alerted to? And how was that in anyway relevant to your question? Anyway, this story doesn't make sense so it is impossible to help you. Sounds like you were found guilty of something you were guilty of so I don't see why you are here complaining

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i dont cite for open container if the container is empty.
                      ive also smelled weed but have not located any in the vehicle...the smell has been on peoples clothes and has now stunk up the car.
                      having said that, your story doesnt sound legit
                      "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
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                      • #12
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                        • #13
                          As most of the other replies have indicated, a lot of your story sounds pretty far fetched. Furthermore, you think you know quite a bit more than you really do--for example, canine handlers are taught how to understand subtle clues in their dog's behavior when the dog "hits" on whatever it is searching for. The dog doesn't act like Lassie and start jumping up and down and barking at the scent of drugs. And perhaps you might be surprised to learn that dogs have a far more acute sense of smell than do humans. Although there may not have been any drugs in your car, if you or one of your friends had the odor of drugs (such as second hand marijuana) on your clothing, even if it was from a day or so ago, that scent had then been transferred to your car seats and the dog can pick it up.

                          Now to answer your legal question: once a charge has been submitted to a court, and a verdict has been reached, the police cannot charge you again for the same offense. That's called double jeopardy. What CAN happen is if the prosecutor decides to dismiss the case without prejudice, the police or the prosecutor can refile the charges at a later time or even in another court which has jurisdiction.

                          What I can say with confidence is that it is unlikely you faced a double jeopardy situation since the county court would most likely have been aware that the same charge had already been filed in municipal court. It is standard for the court clerks and judges to run the criminal history of defendants in their courtrooms. The only way the county could have proceeded on the charge against you is if it had been dismissed without prejudice by the city.

                          Oh, and furthermore, Washington State law states that the registered owner of a vehicle, the driver, and the person actually in possession of an open container within a vehicle can ALL be ticketed for the same open container. I don't know how Oklahoma law reads but perhaps it is similar.
                          Last edited by LPSS; 03-11-2015, 03:49 PM.
                          "Screw that. We can make bullets faster than they can make terrorists. Kill them all. Every last one." -Interceptor

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                          • #14
                            At the end of the day, you had an open container in YOUR vehicle and were therefore guilty of the crime.
                            Today's Quote:

                            "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                            Albert Einstein

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