Scranton Underage DWI Defense Attorney
Just like throughout the rest of the country, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 in Pennsylvania to consume alcohol. It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use fake identification to attempt to buy alcohol, possess alcohol, or transport alcohol. According to Pennsylvania law, alcohol is defined as any liquor, malt, or brewed beverage that has an alcohol content of 0.50 percent or more.
Even though it is against the law and quite common, underage drinking is considered a crime in Pennsylvania. Those that break this law face serious penalties that can remain with them for the rest of their life. Anyone charged with underage drinking needs to speak to a Scranton DWI defense attorney that can help with their case, and help them avoid the penalties associated with underage drinking.
Penalties for Underage Drinking
The penalties for even a first offense of underage drinking can be very serious. An individual may lose their license for 90 days or more, and they may have to pay fines up to $500. After a second offense that fine will be increased to $1,000 and the minor will likely have their license suspended for up to one year. Subsequent offenses after a second offense will include the fine of $1,000 as well as an automatic license suspension of up to two years.
In addition to these criminal penalties, those convicted of underage drinking will also face several consequences in their personal life. Colleges and universities often bar admittance to those with convictions on their criminal records. Individuals may also find it difficult to seek employment, even years after a conviction. Auto insurance rates for those convicted of underage drinking, particularly if they drove while under the influence, will also increase substantially.
Minors that are convicted of underage driving may have options to help them retain their freedom. One of these options is entering a diversion program. A diversion program is one that diverts the case from the trial process and instead, requires individuals to complete a program.
These programs often include community service, paying fines, drug and alcohol treatment classes, drug testing, loss of a driver’s license, and meeting with a pre-trial probation officer. One or all of these requirements may be included as part of a diversion program.
Upon successful completion of the program, an individual will not have a conviction on their record. These programs though, are only offered to first-time offenders.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Scranton
Underage drinking is a crime in Pennsylvania, and one that carries significant penalties. If you or your child has been charged, you need to speak with a Scranton criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will be aware of the many possible options a minor has after being charged with underage drinking, and they will work with you to help build a strong defense.
Don’t let one mistake or one false accusation follow you around for the rest of your life. Contact Ernest D. Preate, Jr., Esquire today at 570-558-5970 for your free consultation. We will work with you to build a strong defense so you can retain your freedom now, and in the future.