Montgomery County Underage Drinking Attorney

If you've been charged for underage drinking, you should know what you're up against. For the purposes of this article, we will discuss of the (1) underage drinking laws in the state of Pennsylvania, and (2) the penalties associated with this crime.

Underage Drinking Laws in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania refers to the act of underage drinking as “minor in possession” in state statutes. Under this law, a broad span of actions exhibited specifically by people under the age of 21 is against the law. It is illegal for underage individuals to do the following:

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

Not only does the law forbid underage individuals from possessing alcohol, it also criminalizes the methods in which underage people obtain alcohol. State law dictates that people under the age of 21 who are discovered to have used false identification or have misrepresented themselves in an attempt to acquire alcohol will be cited. Employers who allow underage residents to work in environments and spaces where alcohol is sold will also be penalized.

In some cases, the validity of a drink as an alcoholic beverage is challenged. In these circumstances, the courts will reference the definition of an alcoholic beverage in state statutes. It provides that any liquor, malt, or brewed beverage that contains at least .50% or more alcohol by volume will be deemed an alcoholic beverage. With this information in mind, it's safe to say that drinks that contain small amounts of alcohol, like beer and wine for example, could lead to to the conviction of an underage drinking charge.

Penalties

Pennsylvania has a “no tolerance” approach to underage drinking. As a result of this standpoint, the underage drinking penalties imposed in the Pennsylvania area considered some of the harshest in the nation. Even first-time offenders will be ordered to pay costly fines, endure a license suspension, and undergo a potential jail sentence. Here are the specific general penalties imposed upon defendants convicted of underage drinking charges:

First offense

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

Second Offense

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

Montgomery County Criminal Defense Attorney

If your child has been charged with underage drinking or a related offense, it is important that you immediately contact an attorney. A knowledgeable legal professional will be able to assess your child's case and present you with viable legal options. Joseph D. Lento has worked with underage clients who've acquired these charges, and he's been able to get their sentence reduced, and in some cases, get their charges completely dismissed. 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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