Drivers below the age of 21 are not allowed to drink any alcohol, let alone drive with a traceable amount of alcohol in their system. Anyone underage who consumes, possesses, or transports alcohol, or tries to purchase alcohol can be charged with Possession or Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor, also referred to as underage drinking.
If you have been charged with underage drinking or possession of alcohol, you are likely worried and have questions concerning the potential implications on your driver’s license and criminal record. While underage drinking is a summary offense and not a criminal one, it’s included within the Pennsylvania Criminal Code, so having it on your record may be a deciding factor in the mind of a potential employer or college admission board. It is in your best interest to seek expungement of the charge with the help of a Southeastern Pennsylvania underage drinking defense lawyer.
Impacts of an Underage Drinking or Possession of Alcohol Conviction
An underage drinking conviction can lead to additional adverse effects besides the potential fines and license suspension.
In Pennsylvania, penalties for underage drinking may include:
- First Offense: $300 fine, 90-day license suspension
- Second Offense: $500 fine, one-year license suspension
Many fail to consider the collateral consequences of underage drinking or possession of alcohol, but they can dramatically impact a young person’s life. Most schools and universities have regulations that prohibit underage students from drinking. The University of Pennsylvania, for instance, enforces a strict policy that disciplines underage students found drinking.
An underage drinking conviction can affect a student’s financial aid and scholarship awards. An alcohol-related crime won’t impact a student’s eligibility to receive government aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, an underage drinking conviction on your record may result in a loss of scholarship or funding from a private organization.
What Are the Benefits of Underage Drinking Expungement?
The significance of having your underage drinking expunged from your record cannot be overemphasized. This is particularly true for young drivers and college students with career dreams that require a college education. Colleges and universities are much more likely to accept and retain students with spotless records over those with an underage drinking conviction.
In short, the likelihood of you being admitted to or continuing in university will be significantly higher if you do not have an underage drinking conviction on your record.
Requirements to Expunge Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania
Under Title 18 PA. CS § 9122(a)(3), individuals convicted of underage drinking may be entitled to expungement. Under this statute, anyone convicted of an underage drinking offense relating to the purchase, consumption, possession, or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages is entitled to expungement when they reach the age of 21, and they meet the following conditions:
- They were 18 years or older at the time of the offense
- They satisfied all requirements and terms of the sentence imposed for the offense
- They met all suspensions and restrictions imposed on their driver’s license
Once granted, the expungement will clear your criminal history at all state agencies that maintain criminal records pertaining such offenses.
How Can a Montgomery County Underage Drinking Defense Lawyer Help?
The Montgomery County underage drinking defense lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., are highly experienced in representing people facing underage drinking charges. They can provide reliable legal guidance to help you avoid the consequences of a conviction. If you are charged with Possession or Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor, we will explore every avenue possible to have the summary offense expunged from your record.
If it’s your first offense for underage DUI, you may even be able to avoid a conviction altogether. Underage drinking lawyers from Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., may also be able to prove that the arresting police officer violated your constitutional rights. In this instance, the prosecution may drop your whole case.
Partner with an Experienced Underage Drinking Attorney in Montgomery County
If you were convicted of underage drinking, we can examine your case and determine whether expungement is an option for you. Handling an underage drinking charge is challenging for everyone, particularly college students and minors. Let the underage drinking defense lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., help you achieve the most favorable outcome so you can move forward in your life with a clear record. To speak with a seasoned underage drinking defense attorney over a free case review, complete a contact form or call today at (215) 822-7575.