When minors in the Philadelphia area are charged with underage drinking, they often do not think it is a big deal because so many young people do it. Also, the consequences do not seem that bad at the time.
However, in addition to a fine and other consequences, a minor's driver's license will be suspended for 90 days for a first offense. The suspension can be up to two years if the person has three or more convictions. In order to avoid this penalty the minor must appeal the suspension within 30 days of receiving the notice to appeal.
There are also many long-term consequences that can stem from an underage drinking conviction. This is a criminal conviction and will be on a person's record. The conviction may have to be disclosed on job and school applications and could be a detriment to being hired or being accepted into a particular school.
There are diversion programs that may be available to first time offenders. These programs require the person to complete certain requirements such as community service or attending classes. If the person successfully completes the requirements the charges may be dismissed. There are also defenses to underage drinking charges, which may also help a person avoid a conviction and the consequences that come with it.
Our firm has many years of experience in handling underage drinking charges in the Philadelphia area. We will work hard to defend young people against these charges. For more information on how we can protect your rights or those of your child, please visit our Philadelphia Underage Drinking Lawyer page on our website.