Delaware County Underage Drinking Attorney

With the large quantity of colleges and universities in Philadelphia, it isn't surprising that the rates of underage drinking are high. It seems as if it is now easier than ever for people under the age of 21 to obtain alcohol, and this vast exposure to these beverages have gotten many underage individuals in trouble with the law.

Being charged and convicted of this crime comes with repercussions that will haunt defendants for the rest of their lives. This is why it's important that if you've been accused of underage drinking or any related offenses, you gain an understanding of the legal process you'll have to undergo. For the purposes of this article, we will provide a brief overview of (1) the underage drinking laws in the state, and (2) the penalties commonly imposed upon defendants in light of a conviction.

Underage Drinking Laws in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, there is no charge for underage drinking specifically. The official term for this offense and other related crimes is known as “minor in possession.” A broad range of actions can potentially constitute a minor in possession charge. Through the enforcement of this law, it is illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to do the following:

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

Similarly to other states, Pennsylvania has criminalized all methods that underage residents use to obtain alcohol. This includes the act of creating and using fake identification, or depicting a false representation. The state's juvenile code also has legislation that forbids employers from hiring people under 21 from working in environments where alcohol is sold.

In cases where the validity of an alcohol substance is challenged, the state provides a definition for clarification. Statutory law provides that any liquor, malt, or brewed beverage that contains at least .50% or more alcohol by volume will be considered a legal beverage. This means that even drinks that people assume have small amounts of alcohol, like beer and wine, could lead to criminal charge for underage residents.

Penalties

Underage drinking is classified as a summary offense in the state of Pennsylvania, which means that defendants are not required to go before a jury trial to be convicted. If a judge decides that the law has been broken, the repercussions of a minor in possession charge will be imposed.

First offense

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

Second offense

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

Third offense

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

Delaware County Criminal Defense Attorney

If your child has been charged with any offense related to underage drinking, you should immediately contact an attorney. Delaware county attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience successfully advocating for clients who have been in this predicament, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.

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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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