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Chug, Chug, Chug: Underage Drinking

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.

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