Jacksonville Open House Party Lawyer
Open House Party
Florida's Open House Party statute is a very broad law that ensnare many people and provides citizens with little guidance on what is lawful conduct and what is unlawful conduct.
Open House Party is defined in Florida Statute Section 856.015. To prove the crime of Open House Party, the State must prove that the defendant:
- was an adult in control of the premises
- knowingly allowed a social gathering to take place there
- had actual knowledge that a minor possessed or consumed alcoholic beverages or controlled substances during the gathering
- allowed the party to continue and failed to take any reasonable steps to prevent the possession or consumption.
A "minor' is defined in this statute as an individual who is not legally permitted to possess alcoholic beverages because of their age. So, a minor would include anyone who has not reached the age of 21 years of age, the legal drinking age in Florida.
You may be wondering if Florida's Open House Party statute is unconstitutionally vague. Well, the Fifth DCA thought so, but the Florida Supreme Court disagreed. In State v. Manfredonia, 649 So.2d 1388 (Fla. 1995), the Florida Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Open House Party statute holding that the statute was permissible under the Constitution as it puts citizens on notice that they are forbidden from having a party at a residence they control and knowing allowing a minor to consume or possess alcoholic beverages or controlled substances. The Court found that a person can avoid criminal liability by terminating the party or by taking some other reasonable action to prevent the consumption or possession.
The Open House Party statute applies to "a person" defined as an individual 18 years of age or older. So, a 17 year old who throws a house party while his or her parents are out of town would not be subject to this particular statute.
What are the possible defenses to Open House Party?
Open House Party,
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