Minor in Possession of Alcohol
The drinking age across the United States is 21 years of age, so to possess or consume alcohol underage is against the law in every state. How each state handles these incidents varies widely according to state laws. You could be arrested, but most of the time the police will write you a criminal citation to appear in court.
Underage drinking is widespread and hardly a scandalous or outrageous crime. It happens on college campuses, at parties, and at concerts and sporting events.
But the consequences of even a misdemeanor minor alcohol possession conviction can be significant. Just because you only got a ticket doesn’t mean it’s not a serious criminal charge.
Penalties for Minor In Possession of Alcohol
Every state handles these charges differently.
In some states, you face a loss of driver’s license, fines, and a criminal record.
We live in a time where background checks over the internet are practically free and are required for most jobs and even many volunteer opportunities, especially if you are working with kids.
If you want a job as a lifeguard, or to volunteer to coach a kid’s sports team or girl scout troop, you will probably have to go through a background screening.
And having a conviction or even an arrest that shows up could eliminate you from consideration for a valuable career opportunity without you even knowing it.
How a Lawyer Can Help with a Minor Alcohol Possession Charge
A lawyer can help you evaluate the potential life consequences of not fighting an underage alcohol charge.
If the fine is small, you may think you should just pay it. But are you sure that this won’t be a conviction that follows you for years?
A local lawyer can tell you how courts treat these charges, and whether you can win the case.
Providing Alcohol to a Minor
Adults can be charged with providing alcohol to a minor in cases, also sometimes known as a social host law.
In Massachusetts, the social host law penalties are a misdemeanor charge as follows:
- Fines of up to $2000
- A year in jail
In Tennessee providing alcohol to a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties of:
- a year’s driving license loss
- a year on probation
- community service requirement of up to 100 hours.
Every state is different, please call for a consultation with an attorney familiar with your state laws.
With an attorney at a criminal hearing in a minor alcohol possession case, you may be able to work out a deal that avoids a criminal record and an online paper trail of this incident.
Please call us today to speak with an attorney in your state who can offer you advice on how to proceed. The consultation is free.