A criminal record is a serious consequence that will negatively impact your future. For this reason, young people must do everything possible to avoid a criminal conviction. Unfortunately, being a minor in possession of alcohol in Georgia is an easy way to get caught up in the criminal court system. To learn more about keeping your record clean, call us to discuss your case. The information below helps you better understand your options when charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol.
How does Georgia define Minor in Possession of Alcohol?
It is illegal for any person under 21 to purchase, attempt to purchase, or knowingly possess any alcoholic beverage. In addition, it is illegal to misrepresent your age to obtain alcohol, and it is illegal to use a fake I.D. to obtain alcohol.
What is the penalty for Minor in Possession of Alcohol?
In Georgia, possessing alcohol when under 21 is a misdemeanor. That means a judge could impose a jail sentence upon your conviction. While there are options to avoid time in confinement, our ultimate concern is helping you avoid a criminal record. For example, agreeing to pay a fine or serve time on probation as opposed to going to jail, does not mean you will avoid a criminal record.
What are my defenses?
This statute has some exceptions. For instance, possessing alcohol in the presence of, and with the permission of your parents, is not illegal. Also, possessing alcohol in connection to lawful employment is not illegal. Other exceptions may apply based on your specific circumstances.
What if I was caught red-handed and confessed?
With the right attorney, you can still avoid serious consequences. Our office has negotiated numerous dismissals for this offense. Pre-Trial Diversion, Community Service, Fines, or online classes about responsible alcohol use, are all options that could lead to a dismissal. Also, some jurisdictions offer different options to obtain a dismissal. For instance, Cobb County offers a pre-trial diversion program specifically for incidents that occur at Atlanta Braves games.
What should I do if I was charged?
First, don’t panic. Second, contact a lawyer. You can keep your criminal record clean if you act fast. A criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and guide you through the criminal court process. Contact our office today to discuss your options, and to protect your future.