Harrisburg/York Underage Drinking Defense Lawyer Answers: “What are the penalties or consequences for Purchase, Possession, Consumption, Transportation of Alcohol by a Minor, a.k.a. ‘underage drinking’, in PA?”
When a person has been accused of any crime, including “underage drinking,” most people’s first question is: “What are the penalties? What am I facing?”
Generally speaking, when you are charged with underage drinking, it may ultimately result in a conviction. While being “charged” with the offense relates to the allegation being made against you, a “conviction” is the result of a finding or plea of guilt to the allegations. Absent an expungement of your record, a conviction will result in a permanent record for underage drinking, which can have negative implications on employment and/or educational opportunities.
In terms of specific penalties, you will face a fine and court costs. However, the most significant consequence for underage drinking is a suspension of your driver’s license. Additionally, as it relates to the license suspension, underage drinking is a recidivist offense, which means the penalty increases every time you are convicted of the charge. To that end, the first time a person is convicted of underage drinking you will face a 90 day license suspension. For a second conviction, the suspension increases to 1 year. Finally, for a third or subsequent conviction, you will be subject to a 2 year suspension of your driver’s license.
If you have been charged with underage drinking incident to accusations that you purchased, possessed, consumed or transported alcohol while under the age of 21, it is imperative that you contact a PA Underage Drinking Defense Lawyer immediately to determine your rights and options.
Whether by negotiation or litigation, there are steps that can be taken in an effort to avoid a license suspension and other penalties. As an criminal defense attorney, I will work with you to obtain an individualized assessment of your case in order to develop a personalized strategy that we will implement to give you the best chance at reaching your objectives. As a part of this process, we will enage in a detailed and fact-specific analysis of your case to determine what defenses may be available. Did the police obtain legally admissible and/or sufficient evidence to prove their case? Was there an illegal search or seizure? If there was a breath test, was testing device appropriately calibrated?
When you have been accused of underage drinking, the consequences you face are real and present significant hardships, if realized. Regardless of whether you have already entered a not guilty plea and have a summary trial scheduled before a magisterial district judge or have just received your citation, contact a PA Underage Drinking Defense Lawyer for your free, initial phone consultation today.