Underage alcohol consumption and/or possession is one of the most common criminal charges for young people in New Jersey. Knowing that it’s so common; however, does not help your child potentially facing punishment in court and a tarnished record. As concerned parents, you hope to avoid or reduce those consequences and protect your child’s record. Contact a NJ underage drinking lawyer at Villani & DeLuca P.C.; we are experienced in representing clients charged with underage drinking offenses.
All our attorneys are parents as well and we can empathize. Let us help you and your child through the legalities of an underage alcohol possession charge and fight to lessen any long-term legal ramifications as a result of a youthful mistake.
2C:33-15 Underage Possession/Consumption Alcohol
If a minor under the age of 21 is caught in possession of alcohol, he or she will be charged with a disorderly persons offense. The fine for this can range up to $1,000, but the punishment is far worse if the crime is committed while in a motor vehicle. If the individual is under age 21 but over age 18, the charge will be resolved in municipal court. If the individual is under 18, the charge will be resolved in family court, as a juvenile delinquency matter.
N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-23 Delinquency
Delinquency, under the law N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-23, is defined as the following if committed by an adult:
- A criminal act
- A disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense
- Violating any other penal statute, regulation or ordinance
A child, under age 18, can be arrested if an officer has reason to believe he or she is guilty of violating a criminal law or regulation. If necessary, the child may be required to enroll in a program for treatment.
Regardless of the crime, you don’t have to leave your child to the mercy of the New Jersey legal system; contact us at [dyna_phone phone=’1′ format=’dashed’] for your free initial consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-17a Providing Alcohol to Minors Under 21 Years Old
Additionally, it is a criminal offense to serve alcohol to anyone under the legal age of 21 in NJ. Those who do, face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months imprisonment for underage drinking in New Jersey. If you are hosting a gathering and minors are present, it is your job to ensure they are provided non-alcoholic beverages and not drinking alcohol. Sneaking a few beers can result in severe criminal, financial and emotional consequences.
Announcing your policy to all of the guests could go a long way in providing protection for you if any legal consequences develop later down the road.
Caught with Possession Of Alcohol Under 21? A NJ Underage Drinking Lawyer Can Help.
Has your underage child been accused of a criminal act and arrested in New Jersey? It is imperative that you seek competent legal representation and the lawyers of Villani & DeLuca can provide that legal guidance. Contact our law office today at [dyna_phone phone=’1′ format=’dashed’] to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your case.