West Chester Underage Drinking Attorney
Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania
Perhaps as common as a high school football game or as popular as a college frat house, is the pervasiveness of alcohol related charges in offenses against minors, high school students and college students under the age of 21.
Are you looking for help, legal advice and tips on dealing with this type of charge? Learn more about a citation for Purchase, Consumption, Possession, or Transportation of Alcohol, Liquor or Malt or Brewed Beverages by a Minor or “Underage Drinking“. Contact an experienced, aggressive attorney for legal advice and representation like our West Chester PA based criminal defense lawyers. Contact us directly at (610) 692-8700 or toll free (877) 529-2422.
Changes in Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania
There was a time when underage drinking was not rigorously prosecuted and was generally overlooked or accepted, especially on the college campus. Many parents have their own stories of their campus security picking up a drunk, dazed and confused student and helping them to their dorm room. But times have changed and underage drinking citations are vigorously issued. On campuses like West Chester University or Villanova University or Widener or Neumann, campus security have been deputized as Campus Police on the look out for alcohol use and abuse.
It is a common scenario for school and local police to bust a party because of a noise violation and charge everyone in the dorm room or apartment or house with underage drinking or “conspiracy” to commit underage drinking. In some cases, these police bully themselves in without permission and without cause; in other cases they charge or arrest without proof. Did the police see you do anything wrong (ie. possession, consume, transport or purchase the alcohol); do they have an admission from you that you were drinking; do they have a breathalyzer result positive for alcohol? Contact us now directly at (610) 692-8700 or toll free (877) 529-2422.
Experienced and Aggressive Underage Drinking Defense
Speak to a member of our criminal defense team as soon as you or your family member is facing a citation for underage drinking. Our firm handles all alcohol related offenses including but not limited to:
- Underage Drinking
- Possession of Alcohol By A Minor
- Purchase of Alcohol by A Minor
- Fake ID or forged Identification
- Purchasing Alcohol for Minors
- Corruption of Minors
- Trying to buy alcohol at a Bar
We look to fight a conviction for underage drinking and give our client’s options. In some cases we fight the case on the facts; in other cases we contest the legality of the charges and we also are skilled at negotiating an alternate disposition when it serves our clients well. In many cases we will negotiate with the arresting officer and the district magisterial judge (“magistrate”) to dismiss the underage drinking in exchange for a lesser offense such as disorderly conduct or a noise violation; and or in exchange for community service. Get an experienced, aggressive Underage Drinking Lawyer who is prepared and ready to fight for your rights if you are facing citations in the Philadelphia area including Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Lancaster County. Contact us now before you “pay the ticket” or citation and get advice on your rights when facing an underage drinking citation.
Protect Your Record and your Future
You might think of underage drinking like a traffic ticket and it is a summary offense, but it an offense under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code and should be taken seriously. In Pennsylvania, it is very easy for friends, family, school, employers or potential employers to look you up in the “Pennsylvania Portal” and see that you have been charged with underage drinking or any other offense. When you receive a citation for underage drinking or related charges, you have ten (10) days to respond. Contact an attorney immediately for legal advice, help and representation.
Hidden Underage Drinking Penalties
Regardless of your thoughts or politics on someone’s right to drink before they turn 21, the Pennsylvania legislature has made the act very expensive. You might not realize that your drivers license is in jeopardy when you are cited. For example, you could be a West Chester University Student sitting in your dorm room when you are cited; off the road and far removed from the drivers seat of a motor vehicle but still facing a loss of your license by making mistake of paying the fine and not fighting the charges.
Under Pennsylvania updated law, there is a fine of up to $500.00 (Five Hundred Dollars) for a first offense and up to $1000.00 (One Thousand Dollars) for subsequent offenses. Unbeknownst to many students and Parents alike is that there is a separate License Suspension penalty applied to convictions for Underage drinking. A first offense of underage drinking not only carries a fine but a ninety (90) day suspension of your operating privileges, a second conviction carries a one (1) year suspension of your operating privileges and subsequent convictions will result in a two (2) year suspension.
Getting Legal Help After a Guilty Plea or Conviction
We can help you even if you have already paid the fine or been convicted of an underage drinking citation. You have thirty (30) days from the date your guilty plea or conviction have been recorded to appeal or throw out the conviction from a magisterial district judge by the filing of a de novo appeal. Even in cases where more than thirty days have passed, there may be an option to reopen the case with an Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc. Also, you may be eligible for having your record cleared or expunged if you have turned 21. Contact us to discussing your options in getting a Rule 790 Underage Drinking Expungement.
An undeage age drinking citation does more than cost you a fine and a loss of your driving priviliges in Pennsylvania. A record for underage drinking (possession, transportation, purchase, or consumption of alcohol by a minor) can have an impact on howa potential school or employer can view you and whether it is a redflag for alcohol abuse or addiction issues. Take the smart step and seek to have your prior record for underage drinking expunged or cleared from your record in Pennsylvania as soon as you turn 21. Contact Ciccarelli Lawyers for more information on getting your Pennsylvania underage drinking record cleared.
§ 9122. Expungement.
(a) Specific proceedings.—Criminal history record information shall be expunged in a specific criminal proceeding when:
(3) a person 21 years of age or older who has been convicted of a violation of section 6308 (relating to purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages) petitions the court of common pleas in the county where the conviction occurred seeking expungement and the person has satisfied all terms and conditions of the sentence imposed for the violation, including any suspension of operating privileges imposed pursuant to section 6310.4 (relating to restriction of operating privileges). Upon review of the petition, the court shall order the expungement of all criminal history record information and all administrative records of the Department of Transportation relating to said conviction.
This is NOT automatic, the defendant MUST file the petition with the Court of Common Pleas to start the process.
Learn more about getting your criminal record expunged, from experienced Pennsylvania Lawyers that are knowledgeable about getting your underage drinking citations cleared from your record and can advise whether you are eligible for an expungement. Contact Ciccarelli Lawyers to speak to a Pennsylvania Expungement or Pardon Lawyer today. Call toll free (877) 529-2422.
Get Legal Advice On your Underage Drinking Charges
Our team is ready to represent you when you are facing underage drinking and alcohol related charges. Based in suburban Philadelphia at 304 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380, we make your choice all the clearer with locations throughout the metropolitan Philadelphia Pennsylvania, including Center City Philadelphia, West Chester PA, Malvern (serving Downingtown/Exton PA), Kennett Square PA, Lancaster PA, King of Prussia PA, Plymouth Meeting PA, Radnor and Springfield PA.
We serve Downingtown, Paoli, Media, Norristown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading and Allentown. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania Juvenile Attorney at Ciccarelli Lawyers, by contacting us at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.