Chester County Underage Drinking Attorney

These days, it's almost too easy for underage individuals to get their hands on alcohol. And with the large number of colleges and universities in Philadelphia, this demographic's exposure to alcoholic beverages is undoubtedly at an all time high. Law enforcement has cracked down on underage drinking, in hopes of decreasing the rates of underage drinking and the possession of alcohol in the state. As a result, many people have been arrested and cited with these charges, and are forced to live with the ramification of this offense for the rest of their lives.

If you have been cited with underage drinking or any related crime, you should know what you're up against. For the purposes of this article, we will provide a brief overview of (1) underage drinking laws in the state, and (2) the penalties associated with this crime.

Underage Drinking Laws in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the official term for underage drinking and related offenses is called “minor in possession.” Under this law, a wide range of actions involving underage residents and alcohol are prohibited in the state. It is illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to do the following:

  • To intentionally and knowingly transport alcohol
  • To possess alcohol
  • To consume alcohol
  • To buy, or attempt to buy alcohol

In accordance with state law, the method in which underage residents obtain alcohol is also illegal. It dictates that people under the age of 21 who are discovered to have used false identification, portray a dishonest guise, or misrepresent themselves all in an attempt to get alcohol will be cited with this offense. The state also criminalizes allowing underage residents to work in environments and spaces where alcohol is sold.

And in cases when the validity of an alcohol beverage is challenged, the state provides a definition of what technically constitutes one. It states that any liquor, malt or brewed beverage that contains at least .50% or more alcohol by volume will be ruled as an alcoholic beverage. It's safe to say that even drinks containing very small amounts of alcohol like beer and wine could result in the conviction of an underage drinking charge.

Penalties

The state's underage drinking penalties are deemed some of the most severe in the country. A costly fine, a license suspension and potential jail time is at stake for those with underage drinking charges. Here are the general penalties imposed upon defendants convicted of these charges:

First offense

  • A maximum jail sentence of 90 days at the Chester County Correctional Facility
  • A fine of up to to $500
  • License suspension for 90 days

Second offense

  • Maximum jail sentence of 90 days
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • License suspension for one year

Third offense

  • Maximum jail sentence of 90 days
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • License suspension for two years

Chester County Criminal Defense Attorney

If your child has been cited with underage drinking charges or a related offense, it is crucial you immediately contact an attorney. An attorney will be able to assess your child's case and provide the most effective way to defend your case. They will also be able to get the sentence you're facing significantly reduced, get your case completely dismissed. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento has ample experience successfully representing clients who have acquired these charges, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for assistance.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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