Many young people in Ohio are not aware that underage alcohol consumption is one of the most frequently charged criminal offenses in the state among underage individuals. Being convicted of underage drinking has the potential to result in serious penalties that can create long-lasting obstacles in regards to career and educational goals. Fortunately, by obtaining the assistance of a seasoned criminal defense attorney, individuals who are charged with underage drinking can make sure that their cases resolve in the best possible manner with the help of a knowledgeable defense attorney.
Ohio Laws Regarding Underage Drinking
Law enforcement in Ohio heavily enforces the state’s underage drinking laws. These enforcement measures often extend to activity that occurs on college campuses. In many cases, underage individuals who are charged with drinking related offenses can also end up facing additional charges, including those associated with disorderly conduct.
Some of the most commonly charged alcohol offenses that underage individuals face include the following:
- Furnishing alcohol to a minor: If you buy, sell, or furnish alcohol to another person who is a minor, you could end up facing charges of furnishing alcohol to a minor. The penalties for this offense results in a $1,000 fine and a maximum of six months in jail.
- Possession of alcohol: This charge can be brought against individuals who are under the age of 18 and found in possession of alcohol. There are several exceptions to this law including people who are in the presence and have the consent of a parent or guardian, people who are in the presence of an 18-year-old or older spouse, and possession of alcohol for educational, medical, or religious purposes. These penalties can result in a person facing both fines and jail time.
- Purchase of alcohol: If a person is under the age of 18 and purchases alcohol, he or she can face criminal penalties. One exception to this law is if a person is a confidential informant and purchases alcohol for law enforcement. These charges can result in a person facing several hundred dollars in fines and time in jail.
Strong Legal Defenses to Underage Drinking Charges
If you are charged with underage drinking, there is a lot on the line, which is why you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced underage drinking attorney. Our legal counsel knows how to raise strong defenses to these charges.
We will investigate whether a diversion program is available for a person charged with underage drinking. Successful completion of one of these programs will result in a person’s case being dismissed without a record being created.
Our legal counsel will also analyze the strength of the prosecution’s evidence and determine the various available defenses to respond to these charges. The court process can be particularly complicated and includes hearings on motions to suppress evidence as well as pretrial hearings, which is why you should not hesitate to speak with our legal counsel.
Obtain the Representation of a Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney
The criminal defense lawyers at Kruger & Hodges has successfully represented a number of clients charged with a variety of underage drinking offenses. In many cases, we have been able to either raise a strong defense or help the charged individual enroll in a diversion program. Contact our law office today to schedule an initial free consultation.