Beaver County underage drinking attorneys know that underage drinking is certainly nothing new and it is a rather minor offense compared to other crimes, but the fact is, it is still a crime that minors are frequently charged with. Underage drinking is what is known as a summary offense, which means that no jail time is typically contemplated and fines are generally small. An underage drinking charge may lead to a defendant losing his or her driver’s license for up to 90 days for a first time offender and up to one year for multiple offenses.
Although Pennsylvania employers are not supposed to consider summary offenses when they are deciding whether or not to hire someone, it does not stop them from seeing an underage drinking conviction on a background check and forming an opinion. Employers in some other states may be permitted to consider summary offenses when making hiring decisions. Criminal convictions raise red flags when background checks are run for other reasons as well such as for college and graduate school applications.
Underage drinking law
Underage drinking charges may be brought for any of the following conduct in Pennsylvania if the person is under 21:
- Consumption of alcohol
- Attempt to purchase alcohol
- Purchase alcohol
- Possesses alcohol
- Transportation of alcohol
More serious charges involved
When underage drinking involves other, more serious charges such as sex crimes, DUI, drug possession, or false identification, consequences are more serious than just a summary criminal conviction. Additional consequences may include greater fines, prison sentences, and sex offender registry in sex crime cases. The sooner you contact a criminal defense attorney to handle criminal charges, the better for your case and chances of a good outcome.
Criminal defense attorneys
Criminal defense attorneys will review the facts of your case including police reports and witness statements. They will look into police conduct to determine if any of your constitutional rights were violated. In some circumstances, if your rights were violated, some or all of the evidence against you may not be admissible resulting in your case being dismissed for lack of evidence.
Defense attorneys may also negotiate for lesser charges or lighter sentencing recommendations. When available, they will ask for a pre-adjudication diversion program that would allow you to follow certain requirements such as community service and alcohol education classes and upon successful completion, you would avoid a criminal conviction.