My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida.
Two nights ago I was at a bar with a few friends. I am only 18 years old but I was not under the influence of ANYTHING (to clarify, I did not even have a sip of alcohol.) However, I was holding a drink for a friend. The bar got raided by cops and I got spotted not having a wrist band and holding a drink. Even though I told the cop it was not mine and I was not drinking, it did not matter one bit to him. I was holding it so it did not matter who's it was. I was escorted out of the bar and taken into the cop car, and after begging and pleading for him to breathalyze me because I really had not had anything to drink the cop admitted the only reason he had to give it was because his Sargent had saw me and saw him escort me out so i was given a " Notice to Appear in Court"... I was not given the opportunity to just pay a fine I HAVE to appear in court (I have had friends who have gotten this before but they were given the option to not go to court and just pay a large fine). I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing. BUT heres the catch, ALL that I was physically given was the "Notice to Appear Instruction Sheet" I was not given the actual "Notice to Appear" charge sheet. I also did not sign it or give my finger print on anything but the instruction sheet stating that I agreed to appear in court ( and I know from a friends paper that they had to sign 3 sheets and had to finger print the charge sheet even ). I was never given a copy or signed anything other than the instruction sheet, which leads me to believe that it is possible that the cop has made a mistake, and that could possibly help me get the case thrown out. I am going to see a lawyer to find out my options but I wanted to have a few opinions of the matter. Also if i do get charged with the MIP, I know it is technically a misdemeanor and I am wondering if it is in my best interest to get it expunged from my record, I am a college student and do not want this to effect me in the long run, So any advice or knowledge on the subject would be much appreciated. Thank you !