In California, being under the legal drinking age doesn’t just prohibit you from consuming alcohol, it also prevents you from being in possession of it in any public place. If you are a minor who has been charged with this crime, or the parent of one, you can fight the charges, but it is critical you speak with a top San Diego juvenile defense attorney as soon as possible.
There are many defenses your San Diego juvenile lawyer can use to help you fight these charges. For example, the minor wasn’t actually in possession of the alcohol, the minor wasn’t in a public place when the police arrested him or her, the police discovered the alcohol during an illegal search and seizure, or the minor was delivering the alcohol for a parent or boss. Many of these defenses cannot be relied on if the minor tells the police information to the contrary, which is why teens, like adults, should never speak with the police without having an attorney present.
If a minor is convicted of being in possession of alcohol, he or she may be sentenced to pay fines, perform community service and to lose his or her driving privileges for a year. With the help of an experienced criminal lawyer, it is common to have minor in possession charges dropped to a non-alcohol related infraction. The great advantage to this is the minor doesn’t lose his driver’s license or have a criminal record.
The misdemeanor will also appear on the juvenile’s record, which could affect his or her ability to get into a good college or obtain employment after school. When the minor turns 18, a San Diego juvenile attorney can help him or her to expunge his or her criminal record, but this is not something that happens automatically and it is always better to fight against the charges in the first place than to wait until a minor can have his or her record expunged.
If you are a minor who has been charged with possession of alcohol or the parent of a teen facing these charges, San Diego juvenile crimes defense lawyer Peter M. Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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