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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Columbia, South Carolina - Open Container Violation

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: My son was involved in an accident with a pedestrian. The pedestrian was injured. First arrival officers handcuffed my son and searched his vehicle. There was an open container, full, in the floor console of the vehicle. Accident was caught on video, no driving charges against my son. He was under the speed limit and had the green light at the intersection. He was given a field sobriety test and passed. Was not intoxicated. Open container supposedly belonged to his passenger. As I understand, it doesn't matter whose container it was. As owner of the vehicle, he is responsible and takes the charges. He was given a court date and a fine of $262.50. As I read it, the fine is supposed to only be $100 for this violation in South Carolina. Why the difference in charges? As I also understand, this is a criminal charge which remains on permanent record. How will this effect his future? Does this show on vehicle insurance? Is there a way to remove this from his record? Please help me understand the impacts of this and any options. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Columbia, South Carolina - Open Container Violation

    The fine is likely $100 and the court costs to process the guilty plea is $162.
    It is a criminal charge and will follow him around all his years. Even if he goes in the military they will ask if he has EVER been arrested for or convicted of a crime involving drugs or alcohol. I am assuming that he is at Jackson or considering the military.

    If he is found guilty this could affect him until he is established in a career field or in college and has a few years behind him. If he is in college this will likely not affect him and he can call it a youthful indescretion or say it how it was the passenger's and your child passed the sobriety tests and blew 0.00.

    The conviction will not show on the insurance. The accident and resulting claim will show on insurance and will result in higher premiums over the next 3 years.

    He might be able to get a good attorney who can work with the prosecutor to see if he can go through a deferred ajudication program or a probation before judgement program given the circumstances.

    If convicted he *may* be able to get the crime expunged from his record if this is his first run-in with the law and if he keeps his nose clean for the following 3 years. He will still have to answer government employment forms regarding the arrest, conviction, and note that it was expunged.

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