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COLLEGE STUDENTS, UNDERAGE DRINKING AND DRUGS

High school and college are filled with new experiences and can be some of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. Unfortunately, however, it is during these years that young adults are most vulnerable to making one poor decision that can have devastating and irreversible consequences. Common repercussions can include suspension of driver’s license, fines, community service, revocation of financial aid, jail time, or just being saddled with a permanent criminal record, which can affect future employment and schooling opportunities. If you are attending or plan on attending a college or university, a criminal conviction can have serious ramifications on your educational and professional careers.

Our DUI defense lawyers regularly represent college students at UCI, USC, Chapman University, UCLA and other local campuses across Southern California charged with DUI and underage drinking.

If you have been charged with underage drinking or any other crime, it is crucial that you retain an attorney who is skilled and experienced at representing young adults. Don’t let what you perceive to be a “minor” offense have permanent consequences on your future. Contact us today for a free consultation today.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS AND UNDERAGE DRINKING CASES

What are the legal consequences of underage drinking?

Underage drinking or possession of alcohol is a Misdemeanor of the First Degree, the most serious level of misdemeanor in the State of Ohio. A person convicted of underage drinking can be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.00. A judge could also order community service, house arrest, and place the person on probation until the age of twenty one.

Will I get into trouble with school?

If you were issued the citation or arrested by campus police officer, the college or university will have a record. You could then be subject to further sanctions based upon the student code of conduct. Additionally, you could also lose your scholarships, financial aid, or even be kicked out of school altogether. An expeditious resolution to the criminal case can positively affect any possible sanctions from the university.

What happens if I just plead “no contest?”

The judge will read the complaint and because you cannot assert a defense, you will be found guilty and sentenced according to the temperament of the judge.

Will this be on my record?

If you enter a guilty or no contest plea the conviction will be on your record. The only way to avoid a conviction is to fight the case.

I’ve never been in trouble before. Won’t I just get a slap on the wrist?

Sentences in a criminal case depend on a number of factors including the level of offense charged, the temperament of the arresting officer and judge, and the existence or non-existence of a victim.

Furthermore, there are a number of judges in each county, and every one of them sentences young adults differently. One judge may sentence you to a small fine, another may impose a $1000 fine and place you on probation for several years, while another may impose a jail term.

Do I really need a lawyer?

An ill informed decision can have devastating consequences on your educational and professional future. A “pro se” defendant lacks knowledge of local laws, Constitutional issues, rules of criminal procedure and judicial temperament, all of which are essential to mounting a successful defense. If a defendant erroneously enters a plea, misses a court-imposed deadline, or if it appears the charges are not being taken seriously some judges will impose jail terms even for first time underage drinking offenders. Contact our dui defense lawyers today to schedule a free consultation where our goal is to ensure that the slap on the wrist doesn’t leave a scar.