Charged With Underage Possession Of Alcohol?
When many students arrive at college, they often are drawn into the social life of the school. They may develop long-lasting friendship with roommates or others they meet in the dorms or in their coursework. But they are also likely to encounter alcohol in the dorms and at parties. They may want to fit in and go along with the crowd. Unfortunately, that can have consequences that are a threat to their schooling and even their future.
Underage Possession Of Alcohol Carries Significant Penalties
If you are arrested for underage possession of alcohol, you may think it an insignificant matter, that you can just pay fine and forget about it. In Virginia, underage possession of alcohol is a serious matter and treating it lightly could lead to long-term consequences for your future. Our attorney at Corder Law, PLLC, knows how damaging these charges can be and how to create a defense for your needs.
You Could Face Jail Time
Remember, in Virginia, it is illegal for anyone under age 21 to “purchase, possess or attempt to purchase or possess any alcoholic beverage.” If arrested for possession, you will receive a sentence of a minimum of a $500 fine, 50 hours of community service, at least a six-month license suspension, as well as possible drug treatment, alcohol education and counseling. And the judge could give you a $2,500 fine and a year in jail.
There May Be More Than Criminal Penalties
You may be offered a seemingly less severe option of “first-offender status.” Accepting this agreement will lead to the charges being dismissed if you complete the terms of the program. If you violate any of them, your charges will be prosecuted.
However, the risk of this program is that while the criminal adjudication is dismissed, the charge will be treated as a conviction and is unlikely to be subject to an expungement. This means it will remain on your permanent criminal record, and could have a serious effect on your life, when you apply for a job, look for housing or apply for additional schooling. It could also affect your current status in school if the university brings disciplinary proceedings against you as a result of your arrest.