Essex County Underage Drinking

Essex County Underage Drinking Criminal Defense Attorney (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15)

Many people do not think of underage drinking as a serious offense or even a crime for that matter. Society often thinks of underage drinking and partying as a normal activity for teenagers and young adults to do. While it may be a common occurrence in the lives of many high school and young college students, the criminal justice system takes underage drinking seriously.

The penalties for an underage drinking conviction include a fine between $500 and $1,000 and a loss of a driver’s license for 6 months. For individuals too young to have a driver’s license yet, the period of suspension would begin once eligible to obtain your license, essentially postponing the date you can get your license. Depending on the circumstances, the judge may also require enrollment into a treatment program for alcohol education. Often police issue underage drinking charges in conjunction with possession of a fake I.D. charge, increasing your criminal exposure.

Importantly, in addition to consequences imposed by the court, there may be other adverse consequences to follow that can affect your educational and employment opportunities in the future. A conviction for underage drinking will go on your criminal record. Many colleges and universities require applicants to disclose if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. The conviction will also appear on any background check done by educational institutions and employers. If you find yourself, your child or a loved one charged with underage drinking it is of utmost importance to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Underage drinking and a motor vehicle - N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15(b)

While the legal limit for driving with alcohol in your system is .08% that is for drivers age 21 and over. Drivers under the legal age can not have any alcohol in their system. This can result in up to a 90 day license suspension, community service and enrollment in an alcohol education program. Keep in mind, for individuals under the legal drinking age it is an offense to have even containers of alcohol in the car.

Don’t let an underage drinking charge or any other related offense tarnish your criminal record and debilitate future educational and employment opportunities. The criminal defense attorneys at Lubiner & Schmidt are skilled, professional advocates that have years of experience defending these charges in courts throughout New Jersey. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation to answer your questions and deliver peace of mind.