Is being charged for open container a crime? 1 Answers as of May 02, 2012

My friend cut across a parking lot to avoid a traffic light and got pulled over. He was sober but had an open beer in the car that belonged to someone else. He got a $500 fine and there was no car search, body search, breathalyzer or anything of anyone in the car. There is no summons, just a requirement to pay the fine or appeal. Is this a criminal offense? He is worried that it will go on his record.

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DeVito & Visconti, PA
DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
Open Container in Massachusetts is governed by General Law ch 90 sec 24i. It is a crime punishable by a fine from $100 to $500. You friend probably received a citation from the police. He should fill out the back of the citation and request a hearing before a clerk. The clerk can stop the issuance of a crimianl complaint and he can avoid a criminal record. If he is convicted he will pay a fine and the RMV will suspend his driver's license for a period of time. I believe it may be suspended for 90 days.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 5/2/2012
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