If you are a student or the parent of a student at Miami University in Ohio, do not underestimate the seriousness of an underage drinking charge. Throughout the United States, it is illegal for an individual under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol. It is also illegal for an individual over the age of 21 to provide alcohol to minors.
For a student under the age of 21, any instance of possessing or consuming alcohol is grounds for an underage drinking charge. It is important for students to understand that on-campus actions can have off-campus consequences. When underage drinking occurs in a motor vehicle, participants can face mandatory driver’s license suspensions in addition to fines and jail time.
It is also important to understand that it is always possible to fight an underage drinking charge. Ideally, a legal defense strategy will result in your child being found innocent of underage drinking. When this is not possible, his or her lawyer may advise the student to accept a plea bargain or participate in a pre-trial diversion program. The right legal defense strategy for your child’s case depends on the circumstances at play.
Underage drinking is a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for an underage drinking conviction are:
Although it is not common for a college student to be sentenced to jail time for an underage drinking conviction, it can and does happen. With a conviction on his or her record, your child also faces long-term penalties like being at a disadvantage in the job search and when trying to rent an apartment.
Underage drinking is not the only drinking-related charge a college-age adult can face. Even if your son or daughter is 21 or older, he or she can be charged with providing minors with alcohol if he or she shares alcohol with younger classmates.
Other charges your child could face in relation to his or her drinking include:
Additionally, your child can face administrative penalties from Miami University in Ohio, such as loss of a scholarship, probation, loss of student housing services, or even expulsion.
When your child is facing a criminal charge like underage drinking, it is your job to be his or her advocate and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend his or her case. It does not matter if your child is legally an adult or if you personally disagree with his or her choice to drink while underage. As the parent of a young adult in college, investing in a legal defense strategy is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your child’s education.
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