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Thread: Bp 25620

  1. #1
    jay_pee is offline Junior Member
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    Bp 25620

    Location of citation: San Diego (Mission Beach), California

    I was recently cited for violating BP 25620 which is defined as:

    25620. (a) Any person possessing any can, bottle, or other
    receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened, or
    a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed,
    in any city, county, or city and county owned park or other city,
    county, or city and county owned public place, or any recreation and
    park district, or any regional park or open-space district shall be
    guilty of an infraction if the city, county, or city and county has
    enacted an ordinance that prohibits the possession of those
    containers in those areas or the consumption of alcoholic beverages
    in those areas.
    (b) This section does not apply where the possession is within
    premises located in a park or other public place for which a license
    has been issued pursuant to this division.
    (c) This section does not apply when an individual is in
    possession of an alcoholic beverage container for the purpose of
    recycling or other related activity.

    To summarize the situation, I was in a grassy area of the beach where the actual beach front was to my west and sand volleyball courts were to my east. This is important to mention because I then found out after this incident that you're only allowed to drink where there is sand. To continue... I was BBQ-ing right beside a table, where a beer can was left on the far side (not mine). A officer came by and questioned me who's beer it was. I was the closest in proximity in comparison to the others in the group, and that's why I think the officer singled me out, though i was still about 5 feet away (length of a picnic table). I explained that it wasn't mine, and i complied with the request to see ID (cause i thought she was checking to see if I was underage, i'm not.) and she then looked at my ID and started writing me up. I kept telling her that it was not my beer (I was clearly not in possession) and she didn't even try to inquire with the others around me to see if I was telling the truth.

    Questions:

    1. Does the officer need to prove that, assuming I was in possession, I did not fall under the exceptions, BP 25620 (B) and (C)??

    2. The only sign I saw that was posted in the area was clearly out of my view (the path i took to the grassy area had no signs). Would pictures of the area help prove my point?

    3. Do these steps seem sufficient to prove my reasonable innocence?
    1. Show that I did not know of the law (due to lack of signs)
    2. Since i didn't know of the law, thinking it was okay, being in the area of the open container, but not possessing it.
    3. The officers reluctance in pursing truth with the other bystanders and/or to see if I fall under the 2 exceptions.What is the name of your state?
  2. #2
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay_pee View Post
    1. Does the officer need to prove that, assuming I was in possession, I did not fall under the exceptions, BP 25620 (B) and (C)??
    It's obvious sections B and C do not apply to you. B doesn't apply to you because you were not in an area where drinking was allowed; no brainer. Section C was set in place so people picking up litter wouldn't be charged for picking up a beer can to throw it away; another no brainer. The officer's sworn testimony will be enough to debunk this theory of yours.

    2. The only sign I saw that was posted in the area was clearly out of my view (the path i took to the grassy area had no signs). Would pictures of the area help prove my point?
    Probably not.

    Show that I did not know of the law (due to lack of signs)
    Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. That won't help you.
    2. Since i didn't know of the law, thinking it was okay, being in the area of the open container, but not possessing it.
    Possession has absolutely nothing to do with ownership. Legally speaking, you were technically in possession of that beer.

    3. The officers reluctance in pursing truth with the other bystanders and/or to see if I fall under the 2 exceptions.What is the name of your state?
    Irrelevant.
  3. #3
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    You're talking about my backyard, there ... I was a cop in the area for 8 years.

    The (b) and (c) sections can be raised as a defense. If you can show that you were part of a group that had been granted a permit, or that you were collecting empties for recycling, then you might get off ... yeah, good luck with that.

    So, did you ever find out whose beer it was? Did you touch, move, or drink from it? Or did it magically materialize where you were? If you know whose beer it was, ask if that person will come to court and jump on the grenade for you.

    Sorry, you were caught. Go to court, take your lumps,. move on.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  4. #4
    jay_pee is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    You're talking about my backyard, there ... I was a cop in the area for 8 years.

    The (b) and (c) sections can be raised as a defense. If you can show that you were part of a group that had been granted a permit, or that you were collecting empties for recycling, then you might get off ... yeah, good luck with that.

    So, did you ever find out whose beer it was? Did you touch, move, or drink from it? Or did it magically materialize where you were? If you know whose beer it was, ask if that person will come to court and jump on the grenade for you.

    Sorry, you were caught. Go to court, take your lumps,. move on.

    - Carl

    The beer belonged to another person in the group (which I found out who it was after). He was with others around me, but not as close as I was. Since the officer never questioned any of the other group members, they stayed quiet not knowing what was completely happening at the time. He basically just left his beer on the table, and walked to the group and the officer came in a few minutes later. If I am able to get this person to show up to court, what will happen then?

    -Jaypee
  5. #5
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay_pee View Post
    The beer belonged to another person in the group (which I found out who it was after). He was with others around me, but not as close as I was. Since the officer never questioned any of the other group members, they stayed quiet not knowing what was completely happening at the time. He basically just left his beer on the table, and walked to the group and the officer came in a few minutes later. If I am able to get this person to show up to court, what will happen then?

    -Jaypee
    Well, HE may then face the charge. You will be asking him to confess to a criminal charge, so I hope he's up to it.

    I note you did not answer the other part of my question regarding whether you touched or consumed any of the alcohol. Did you?

    Possession requires control and knowledge, it is entirely possible to surmise it was yours if it was within reach of you. However, a judge might find there to be reasonable doubt after you speak. Ya never know.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  6. #6
    jay_pee is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    I note you did not answer the other part of my question regarding whether you touched or consumed any of the alcohol. Did you?

    Possession requires control and knowledge, it is entirely possible to surmise it was yours if it was within reach of you. However, a judge might find there to be reasonable doubt after you speak. Ya never know.

    - Carl
    No, I did not touch or consume any of the alcohol. The can of beer was on one side of the picnic table and completely out of reach as I was on the opposite end of the table. To add to this, there was a BBQ grill on my edge of the table that blocked my view of the beer, so even if I had very long arms (I'm 5"3 ), I still couldn't get to it without walking around to the other side of the table.

    Question: I have a picture (from that day) that shows the BBQ grill on one side of the table. Also pictures that show how the tables in that area look like. Would it help to give the judge the pictures to show how long the tables were, so I can remove doubt of how long the table is?? Or would it suffice to say a "standard size picnic table", because that's what I believe they are.

    Question2: I know exactly where I was when the officer approached me and luckily i remembered from my business law class to write any notes I could right after the ticket issuance (which I did on an informational paper the officer gave me). Would these notes (mini dialog and diagram) help me prove my story and that it's not off of memory?? I know that the officer did not take notes her self, and I want to know how well my notes will hold up in court. Though I'm assuming it won't happen, I'm afraid that she would say that I was clearly in reach of the can, which I was obviously not.

    -Jaypee
  7. #7
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    It really makes no difference. If you could have picked up the beer (as it sounds like you could) it was in your constructive possession.
  8. #8
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay_pee View Post
    Question: I have a picture (from that day) that shows the BBQ grill on one side of the table. Also pictures that show how the tables in that area look like. Would it help to give the judge the pictures to show how long the tables were, so I can remove doubt of how long the table is?? Or would it suffice to say a "standard size picnic table", because that's what I believe they are.
    A picture should not hurt.

    Question2: I know exactly where I was when the officer approached me and luckily i remembered from my business law class to write any notes I could right after the ticket issuance (which I did on an informational paper the officer gave me). Would these notes (mini dialog and diagram) help me prove my story and that it's not off of memory??
    It would show you took notes, not that they were truthful or accurate. But, it could be of help.

    I know that the officer did not take notes her self, and I want to know how well my notes will hold up in court.
    You don't know the officer took no notes. We usually don't make notes write there for a citation, we make them afterwards.

    Your notes - and the officer's - are not proof. They can ONLY be used to refresh your memory of the events in question. You would still have to testify and assert that the testimony is your true recollection of the events.

    Though I'm assuming it won't happen, I'm afraid that she would say that I was clearly in reach of the can, which I was obviously not.
    Apparently that was not so obvious to the officer, or she would not have issued the citation.


    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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