Jacksonville Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Lawyer
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
A Possession of Alcohol by a Minor charge should not be taken lightly. It is a criminal charge that can stay on a person's record forever. Many high school students, college students, or employed minors, all with bright futures get a criminal citation for Possession of Alcohol by a Minor when they are caught by police officers possessing alcohol. Call the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer of LASNETSKI GIHON LAW to find out how we can help protect your future.
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor is just what it sounds like, except the definition of a "minor" includes those up to twenty one (21) years of age. The statute applies even to those who are 21 years and 364 days old. Police officers will usually issue a Notice to Appear to a minor who they find in possession of alcohol. A Notice to Appear is effectively an arrest. The person must set a court date and will appear before a criminal county court judge just like he or she would if arrested. When you appear for your first court date, or retain an attorney to appear, the judge or prosecutor will usually give you an offer or tell you whether you are eligible for pretrial diversion. If you retain an attorney before your court date, they can often call the State Attorney's Office before the court date and talk to the prosecutor about your case.
- You were under 21 years of age, and
- you had in your possession alcoholic beverages.
The Possession of Alcohol by a Minor law does not apply to people between the ages of 18 to 21 who possess alcohol in the normal course of their employment, which requires serving alcohol to customers.
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor is a Second Degree Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail. First time offenders will not typically receive any jail sentence, however, there are other potential serious consequences to a conviction. If you are adjudicated guilty, you would not be able to get your record sealed or expunged. There is a potential driver's license suspension, explained below. There are fines and court costs. The judge can also place you on probation to complete community service hours, alcohol courses, AA meetings, or other requirements.
If you have a prior conviction for Possession of Alcohol by a Minor and you are convicted a second time, it is a First Degree Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
If you are under 18 years old and found guilty or delinquent of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor (even if it is your first offense), your driver's license, or driving privilege will be suspended for:
6 - 12 months for First Violation
2 years for Subsequent Violations
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor,
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