Can I get citated for open beer container that was in a bag tucked into my pants if I was not drinking it?

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Can I get citated for open beer container that was in a bag tucked into my pants if I was not drinking it?

I was passenger on a moped coming from the supermarket to my house 4 houses away without a helmet. We got pulled over by the police; I got citated. I had a supermarket bag inside my jacket tucked into my pants. The officer made me unzip my jacket and demanded to know the contents. I told him he had no right but he threatened me with going to jail. It was a 24 oz can that was opened. What had happened was I dropped it outside the supermarket and opened it to release the pressure, stuck it back in my bag and was walking home when my friend pulled up with the moped. Was this an illegal search?

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written your stop and search was legal IF the state that you reside in requires a helmet on all those that drive a moped or a motor cycle. The citation for an open container of alcohol is different than a citation for drinking alcohol in public.

Based upon what you have written, the stop, search and citation of you for an open container appears factually and legally warranted from your brief question. I suggest that you consult with a criminal defense attorney to assist you in your matter.


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