College is a time when you find out who you really are and experience
the world from a brand new perspective – one that does not include
under the watchful eye of loving parents. With this freedom, sometime
even the brightest, most responsible students find themselves socializing
with a red solo cup in hand, even if they are not of legal drinking age.
For those who do not meet the required age to possess alcoholic beverages,
law enforcement has the right to charge individuals with underage drinking, or "
Minor in Possession." A misdemeanor crime in the State of Georgia, this law prohibits
anyone under the age of 21 from possessing alcohol. While most individuals
would think this law can only be enforced for those consuming alcohol
underage, in fact, individuals under the age of 21 can be arrested for
even holding a beer.
For a first time offense, the maximum punishment is six months in jail
or a fine of $300, or both. Furthermore, probation, community service,
and classes about alcohol dependency will typically be required by the
court. A second arrest for this crime raises the punishment to a maximum
period of 12 months in jail or a $5000 fine, or both.
Georgia takes this
crime very seriously. Officers are generally very aggressive to issue citations,
or even worse, arrest those committing this offense. In my prosecutorial
experience, the majority of those arrested for this crime were freshmen
and sophomores in college who had a long and prosperous career ahead of
them. Surprisingly, they pled guilty without putting up a fight. And,
unfortunately, many potential job and post-graduate degree programs require
you to disclose such a conviction (see, for example
Trader Joe's and
Columbia Law School).
The good thing is, if you or your child has been arrested for this offense
life is not over. In fact, there is chance the entire arrest can be removed
from their record and their choice to drink underage will be nothing but
a college memory.
Richman Law Firm will aggressively represents you the fullest extent allowed
by the law in order to prevent you from being convicted underage drinking.
I will look for legal defenses and inadequate police work in order to
convince the prosecutor to drop this case. I will look to secure a dismissal
and wipe this off your record. I have your best interest in mind and will
do everything possible to help you.
Call me today to schedule a free consultation. The longer you wait, the
more time the prosecutor has to collect evidence to use against you.