Richmond VA Under Age Possession of Alcohol Lawyer
Underage possession of alcohol is one of the most common offenses in Richmond, VA. Law enforcement officers monitor the roads, concert avenues as well as parking lots outside the concert avenues, to minimize issues of underage drinking while arresting offenders. While underage drinking or possession of alcohol might appear like a simple crime, it carries serious consequences.
In Richmond VA and throughout Virginia, underage drinking and possession of alcohol are considered as a misdemeanor offense. Therefore, consequences can be quite severe, depending on the nature of the offense. The only exception to this rule is when a minor is consuming alcohol when on private property where no alcohol is sold and with the consent of a parent or a legal guardian.
If your child has been charged with underage possession or consumption of alcohol, there is a high chance that you are worried about the immediate and future consequences of that conviction. At The Weiland Firm, PLC, we frequently defend clients who have been charged with underage possession of alcohol. We will aggressively defend you, your friend or your child and come up with a strategy that will minimize the consequences of that charge.
Applicable Laws For Under Age Possession of Alcohol In Richmond Va
In Virginia, it’s a crime for an underage, minor or anyone below the age of 21 years to buy or possess alcohol under any circumstances. Minors can only consume alcohol in a private residence and under the supervision of a parent or guardian. Also, selling alcohol to a minor in Virginia is illegal. If you sold alcohol to a minor knowingly, then you can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, which is punishable with 12 months in jail or a maximum fine of $2,500. If you sell alcohol and you fail to check the ID of a minor, then you can be found guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor offense. However, it’s important to note that if a minor deceives you with a fake ID, then you might not be charged, as long as you made the effort to check the ID.
Primary Consequences For Under Age Possession of Alcohol. What Is the Penalty for Underage Drinking in Richmond Virginia?
Virginia Code Section 4.1-305 Underage Possession of Alcohol
Underage drinking and possession of alcohol is a misdemeanor offense throughout Virginia. Class 1 misdemeanor offenses are among the most serious in Virginia, and they carry serious consequences, both immediate and future. If you are between the age of 18 to 20 and you are found drinking alcohol, you can spend up to 12 months in jail or a maximum fine of $2,500 or 50 Hours of Community Service. The presiding judge will determine whether the defendant will do the fine or community service. In some courts, the judge will allow the defendant to choose whether they want to pay the fine or do community service.
If the offender is below the age of 18, then they will be tried in a juvenile court. If the minor is between 16 and 18 and they have a driving license, then that license will be delayed or suspended for 6 months. And if the offender doesn’t have a driving license or they are below 16 years, then they will be prevented from applying for a license for at least six months, past the date they were eligible to apply for one. Also, a minor must complete a compulsory substance abuse counseling program. In some situations, a judge may grant the offender a restricted driving license, which will allow them to obtain medical care, drive to work, attend counseling sessions or attend religious services once in a week. However, it’s important to note that not everyone whose license has been suspended will qualify for a restricted license. Contact a Richmond Va Under Age Possession of Alcohol Lawyer
What happens if you get caught drinking under 21 in Richmond Virginia?
Underage drinking and possession of alcohol – Class 1 misdemeanor offenses in Virginia
Between the age of 18 to 20
- Receive 12 months in jail
- A Maximum Fine of $2,500.
- A Minimum Fine of $500
- Community Service
- Commonly Charged as a Minimum fine of $500 or 50 hours of community service.
Below the age of 18
- Driver’s license will be delayed or suspended for 6 months.
- Complete a compulsory substance abuse counseling program.
You can also be arrested even if you are not in possession of alcohol if law enforcement officers have a reason to believe that you are intoxicated. In such a situation, these officers might arrest you, and then compel you to submit a breath or blood test. If the test results are positive, then you will be charged with underage consumption of alcohol.
Some minors use fake driving licenses, which they use to purchase alcoholic drinks. In Richmond VA, it’s illegal to possess a manufactured or altered driving license. It’s also illegal to give out your driving license to someone or use someone else’s license to purchase alcohol. If you are found guilty, then you could spend up to 6 months in jail, among other penalties. When it comes to underage possession and consumption of alcohol, Virginia law enforcement officers will not treat you kindly. Therefore, make sure that you have experienced legal experts such as a Richmond Va Under Age Possession of Alcohol Lawyer representing you if you have been arrested for such charges.
First Offender Program For Under Age Possession of Alcohol In Richmond Va
If you have never been convicted of underage consumption or possession of alcohol, you might qualify for alternative sentencing, known as the first offender program or pre-conviction probation. In this program, the defendant will be required to complete an alcohol education program and a certain number of hours of community service. Once the defendant completes both programs and they don’t have subsequent charges during the probation period, then the court can dismiss the charges. However, you need to work with an experienced Richmond VA underage possession of alcohol attoeny, who understands how the pre-conviction probation works.
Additional Consequences Of Under Age Possession of Alcohol In Richmond Virginia
Apart from the legal consequences, if you are found guilty of underage possession and consumption of alcohol, then you might lose a scholarship. Besides that, some colleges or universities might deny you admission, due to the conviction. Some schools might also expel you completely, meaning that you could lose a chance to complete your studies, compete in sports or other school-based programs. And if you are expelled from one school, you might find it quite hard to be admitted to another one, since they will have to check your records. As you can see, underage possession and consumption of alcohol are serious charges, which you should not take lightly. They will not only affect your studies, but they might also lead to severe future consequences, such as missing out on various employment opportunities, since you didn’t finish school. If your driving license is suspended as a result of underage possession and consumption of alcohol, chances are high that you will have to pay higher insurance premiums, once it’s reinstated.
Experienced Richmond Va Under Age Drinking Attorneys
Teenagers and minors are always experimenting with alcohol. In fact, some consider it as a rite of passage, especially in universities and colleges. However, if you are below the legal drinking age in Virginia and you are arrested by law enforcement officers, don’t expect them to just dump the beers or whatever alcoholic drinks you have, and then drop you home. Underage possession and drinking is illegal in Virginia. And as noted earlier, it’s a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. If you are under the age of 21 and you are found buying, attempting to buy, drinking, transporting or possessing alcohol in Richmond, VA, then you will be charged. And if you are below 18 years, there is a high chance that the law enforcement officers will notify your parents. Weiland and Firm are experienced Richmond Va underage possession of alcohol lawyers, who can help with these charges.
Once your child is charged with underage drinking and consumption, don’t wait until it’s too late or encourage them to plead guilty. Instead, you should first contact our legal experts, and we will guide you accordingly. We will evaluate all the factors surrounding the charges, and then advice you on the best way forward. We are here to ensure that you get the best legal representation possible when it comes to underage possession and drinking charges. Having been in the legal profession for many years, we understand all the procedures and process pertaining to underage possession and consumption of alcohol. We know the consequences you will be facing, both short term and long term. We also understand how a conviction related to underage possession and alcohol consumption can negatively affect your life. Hiring experienced underage possession of alcohol lawyer comes with numerous benefits. For instance, we have the ability to negotiate with the court and then recommend mitigating measures that you could take to prevent or minimize harsher penalties.
Children make mistakes, and it’s part of the growth process. However, mistakes such as underage possession of alcohol can lead to serious consequences, such as loss of educational and job opportunities. It can also lead to the suspension of a driving license, among other penalties. Our criminal defense lawyers have the necessary skills, expertise, and experience needed to defend those who have been charged with underage drinking and possession of alcohol. Allow us to help your child, to prevent these charges from haunting them in years to come.
Contact Us Today at (804) 355-8037
When your child’s freedom and future are at risk, you should consult effective, experienced and aggressive defense attorneys. And this is Weiland and Firm comes in. Our Richmond VA underage drinking attorneys will handle the case with the seriousness that it deserves. Once your child has been arrested for underage drinking or they are accused of possession, selling or consuming alcohol in a public space, you should contact our attorneys right away. Don’t try to plead guilty or even attempt to negotiate for a reduced penalty. Once you do that, you are already putting yourself at the mercy of the criminal justice system, and the outcome might not be favorable. Contact our law firm for a free case review and we will schedule a free consultation.
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