Possession of Alcohol by a Minor


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
allegations.

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 lawyers of Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon to find out how we can help protect your future.  
What is Possession of Alcohol by a Minor?

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.  

Possession of Alcohol by a Minor is defined in Florida Statute Section 562.111.  To prove Possession of Alcohol by a Minor, the State must prove:
  • You were under 21 years of age, and
  • you had in your possession alcoholic beverages. 

What if I work at a restaurant and serve alcohol?

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.  
What is the potential sentence for Possession of Alcohol by a Minor?

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.  

Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area to discuss what typically happens in Possession of Alcohol by a Minor cases in that jurisdiction and in front of that particular judge.  There may be diversion programs that are available.  You may be able to obtain a withhold of adjudication and could potentially get the charge sealed.  

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. 

DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSION *

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

* It is extremely important that your attorney try to negotiate a withhold of adjudication or dropped charges to avoid a license suspension.  Call us to see if this is an option in your case.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor,

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!
Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)

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