Consequences of a Minor in Possession ChargeSan Diego Legal News
Being charged with possession of an illicit substance as a minor is a frightening situation that may have life-altering effects. At the beginning of your encounter with the criminal justice system, it is important to retain effective legal counsel to minimize damage to your reputation, social life, and permanent record. Being a minor in possession of alcohol is a very serious offense will have a large impact on your adult life is the proper measures are not taken and may even affect your loved ones. If you or someone you know in the San Diego area is facing a possession charge as a minor, you need to consult a qualified criminal defense attorney to reduce the impact of these charges.
Consequences of a Minor in Possession Charge
In the State of California, “minor in possession” is when a minor (anyone below the legal drinking age of 21) is in possession of alcohol in a public space. Business and Professions Code 25662 also stipulates the punishments for businesses and homeowners if they allow minors to consume alcoholic beverages in the home. For a first offense, a minor in possession of alcohol will be facing a $250 fine and 24-32 hours of community service that does not interrupt school or any employment obligations; for a second offense, a fine that does not exceed $500 and 36-48 hours of community service that does not interrupt school or employment obligations. Additionally, following a second offense, your driver’s license will be subject to a one-year suspension. The judge has the authority to assign community service hours in the form of an alcohol or drug treatment program if deemed necessary. Police officers have the right to seize any alcoholic beverages under the following circumstances: in plain view at a social gathering in public, where there are ten or more people consuming alcohol in a public space, or at a social gathering not supervised by a parent or guardian. If confronted by law enforcement, it is critical to retain an expert criminal defense attorney to increase your chances of a successful case.
Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor and Protecting your Rights
As per California law, any individual that is discovered providing alcoholic beverages to minors is subject to a $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service. Any business that is licensed to sell alcoholic beverages that serves a minor will be subject to sanction, investigation, and potential closure. Being charged with possession as a minor is a very stressful and seminal event. Though only a misdemeanor, such charges will appear on your permanent record, which may affect your employment and education prospects. Such early interaction with law enforcement may go on to adversely impact your social life, with alienation from friends, family, coworkers, and others. Criminal matters are emotionally taxing and potentially traumatizing events for yourself and your loved ones. It is important to take the appropriate steps to ensure that your rights are protected. If you or a loved one in the San Diego area are facing a minor in possession charge, call the Coastal Legal Center for a free consultation at 619-231-0724.