Drinking and partying are common occurrences at nearly every university across the United States. For many, underage drinking is seen as a rite of passage, a key part of the personal growth an individual experiences while attending college. But this romantic view of underage drinking only serves to dismiss its seriousness. Underage drinking is a criminal offense. When a student is convicted of underage drinking, he or she faces a variety of serious penalties.
In Ohio, underage drinking is a first-degree misdemeanor. A student charged with this offense faces:
It is not common for students to face jail time for underage drinking, but a judge can impose this penalty if he or she feels it is appropriate.
When underage drinking occurs in a motor vehicle, participants can face additional penalties, such as a driver’s license suspension.
Underage drinking is not the only charge a college student can face when he or she chooses to imbibe. Underage alcohol consumption can lead to other criminal behaviors and charges, such as:
Additionally, any person over the age of 21 who supplies minors with alcohol can face a charge for furnishing alcohol to minors. This, too, is a first-degree misdemeanor. It does not matter whether the adult supplying the alcohol is a fellow student or a student’s parent; under most circumstances, it is a crime to give alcohol to a person who is younger than 21 years old. When an adult supplies alcohol to a minor, he or she may be held liable for any damages the minor causes to him- or herself or to others while under its influence.
Your child can fight an underage drinking charge. It is in his or her best interest to do so, even when the prosecution has what appears to be enough evidence to find your child guilty.
There are a few reasons for this. One is that a lawyer can potentially demonstrate your child’s innocence to the court. When this is not possible, your child’s lawyer can potentially help him or her enter a diversion program, which makes it possible for the charge to be dismissed upon successful completion of various requirements.
Underage drinking happens on nearly every college campus across the United States, but that does not mean it is not a crime. When your child is charged with a crime, he or she needs to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight the charge. Contact our team at The VanNoy Firm today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office, during which we will answer all of your questions and provide the guidance you need.
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