Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Centre County, PA is home to Penn State’s main campus. As such, it is one of the most common places for underage drinking in the state, with the potential for thousands of citations to be filed each year. If you or a loved one was charged with underage drinking, you could face fines and potential jail time. You could also have to pay court costs and other expenses.
If you were charged with underage drinking in Centre County, call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today. Our defense attorney for underage drinking in Centre County, PA offers free legal consultations where we can talk about your charges and discuss options for how to proceed with your case. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.
Charges for Underage Drinking in Centre County, PA
In Pennsylvania, as with most of the U.S., the drinking age is 21. This means that it is illegal to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol until your 21st birthday. Many college students across the country drink before they are 21 all the time, but this often opens them up to potential charges if they are caught by police.
Pennsylvania’s 18 Pa.C.S. § 6308 is the main underage drinking statute that makes it a summary offense to drink, posses, or purchase alcohol while under 21. However, there are other related offenses you could be charged with alongside this offense.
Fake IDs are commonly used to get alcohol while you are under 21, but using one can lead to other charges as well. If you are not under 21 but are accused of providing alcohol to someone who is, you could also face charges for that.
Lastly, while underage possession of alcohol is itself an offense, if you are caught driving under the influence while you are under 21, you could face additional charges as well.
Penalties for Drinking While Under 21 in Centre County, PA
The underage drinking laws in Pennsylvania have penalties attached to them that increase for repeat offenses. For a first-time offense of underage drinking, you face a potential fine of up to $500. If you are caught for a second offense or any additional offenses after the second offense, you could face up to a $1,000 fine for each occurrence.
On top of these fines, you could face up to 90 days in jail. While jail time is rarely issued as a penalty for underage drinking, it is always a possibility.
Alongside these penalties, the court might issue additional penalties, such as a requirement to participate in alcohol abuse treatment or community service.
Alternative Sentencing for Underage Drinking in Centre County
The police, prosecutors, and judges that handle citations for underage drinking rarely want to see young people severely punished for something they probably did themselves when they were young. In many cases, there are opportunities to seek alternatives to jail time that might even result in having the charges dropped.
First-time underage drinking offenders might be able to negotiate a deal with the prosecution whereby they will pay fines, perform community service, and participate in drug and alcohol awareness classes or substance abuse treatment in order to have the charges against them dropped. Our attorney commonly seeks to negotiate such agreements for people charged with underage drinking, and we can try to do so in your case as well.
In some cases, pleading down an underage drinking offense to a local ordinance violation might also result in reduced fines and penalties. Our attorneys will discuss any and all potential options in your case.
Juvenile Charges for Underage Drinking for Minors in Centre County
College students are not the only people in Centre County who could face charges for underage drinking. Many minors live and attend school in the area, and younger siblings, friends, and other visitors from out of town often come to Penn State for parties or sporting events or to visit students. If any of these people are under 18 at the time of their underage drinking charges, their case might be handled through the juvenile justice system instead.
Juvenile charges are handled separately from adult criminal charges and go through a different system that heavily involves the parents in the child’s case. If the judge or other official in charge of the juvenile court finds that the child should be “adjudicated delinquent,” they could be placed on juvenile probation and face ongoing supervision and legal issues to help teach them how to avoid future crime and criminal charges. Our lawyers can help with these charges as well.
Defenses for Underage Drinking
If you were arrested for underage drinking but did not actually commit the offense, there could be various ways to get out of the charges.
If you were caught actively drinking or were already drunk when police stopped you, you might not be able to argue your way out of charges. However, if you were drinking something you did not know was alcoholic or had your drink spiked, you might be able to avoid charges because the offense was not committed intentionally.
In cases of possession of alcohol while under 21, the police will have to prove that you knowingly possessed the alcohol. If the alcohol was found in a car or a shared room, you might be able to avoid charges if you did not know that the alcohol was there or did not have access to it because it was in a locked or hidden location.
Our attorneys will fight to challenge the charges against you when appropriate.
Call Our Centre County, PA Underage Drinking Lawyer for a Free Case Consultation
If you are a Penn State student charged with underage drinking in Centre County, or if you were otherwise arrested for underage drinking in Centre County, call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today. Our defense attorney for underage drinking in Centre County, PA offers free legal consultations to help you understand how to proceed and what we can do to help with your case. For your free case consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.