Has your teenager been caught and charged with underage drinking or possession of alcohol at a recent New Jersey party or concert? As a parent, your mind is probably racing with questions. “Will my child have this on their record forever?” “Can this charge be dismissed?” “Will it keep my child from being accepted into college?” No doubt, a clean criminal record for your child is important to worry about and all of these are valid questions.
An Arrest Doesn't Mean Your Child is Guilty
First, realize that an underage drinking citation is not a conviction. Just because your son or daughter may have been arrested, doesn't mean they are guilty. They have rights and we can help you understand those rights, protect them and avoid harsh penalties. We recognize that no parent wants to go through this; we're here to help. Contact our experienced Juvenile Defense Lawyers Villani & DeLuca today to protect your child from the harsh realities and lessons of the NJ juvenile court system.
Underage Drinking Can Be Costly
Unfortunately, underage drinking costs the citizens of New Jersey billions of dollars every year. These costs include medical care, work loss, and pain and suffering associated with the multiple problems resulting from the use of alcohol by youth. This amounts to a shocking cost of $1825 per youth in New Jersey. Youth violence (homicide, suicide, aggravated assault) and traffic crashes attributable to alcohol use by underage youth in New Jersey represent the largest costs for the State.
Know the NJ Underage Drinking Law and Penalties (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15)
Underage drinking in New Jersey is taken very seriously and can include heightened penalties if certain circumstances exist. Underage drinking is generally charged when any person under the legal drinking age of 21 is caught in possession of or consuming alcohol in any public place.
If your child has been convicted of underage drinking, he or she will face a disorderly persons offense. That includes possible jail time, a fine of no less than $500, possible community service, and other fines and penalties. And depending on whether or not an underage DWI was also involved, even more serious penalties could apply.
Luckily, if this is the first charge for the minor in possession of alcohol, they may have the opportunity to earn a dismissal of this charge with the help from one of our attorneys.
Experienced Juvenile Attorneys Serving Ocean and Monmouth County, NJ
If your teenage son or daughter has been charged with an underage alcohol charge in Monmouth or Ocean County, NJ contact the attorneys of Villani & DeLuca P.C. for your free initial consultation. With experience defending New Jersey teenagers since 1996, the criminal defense firm of Villani & DeLuca will leverage decades of working in the juvenile Family Court system to craft the best defense for your child. Juvenile law is significantly different than adult law and partner Carmine Villani, Esq. is familiar with the intricacies and complexities of the Juvenile Justice System. Give us a call at 732-709-7757.