Pemberton NJ Underage Drinking Lawyer
Underage Alcohol Possession and Consumption Attorney in South Jersey
Considering its prevalence, one might assume that underage drinking is a relatively minor matter in New Jersey. However, young people and their parents are often surprised to learn of how serious the State takes these offenses. Under New Jersey law, underage possession or consumption of alcohol, often simply referred to as underage drinking, is considered a disorderly persons offense. This is similar to a misdemeanor but is still considered a crime in New Jersey, which results in a charge on your criminal record if you are ultimately convicted. In addition to the hindrance that a criminal record can pose as you pursue future employment and educational opportunities, underage drinking is also punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in the county jail. Although it occurs all the time, New Jersey lawmakers, enforcement officers, and prosecutors seek to impose harsh penalties on young people accused of possessing or consuming alcohol underage. With so much on the line, it is essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney working to have your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Leonard D. Biddison is an award-winning criminal defense lawyer who has been fighting on behalf of clients charged with criminal and DWI offenses in Southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania for over two decades. When defending clients charged with underage drinking, he is often able to have these charges dismissed or reduced to a municipal ordinance violation, which is similar to a ticket and requires payment of a fine but does not result in a criminal record. With his knowledge and experience, Mr. Biddison has achieved countless successes in courts in Mount Holly, Pemberton, Willingboro, Gloucester, and throughout Burlington County and South Jersey. Whether you are charged with underage possession or consumption of alcohol, underage DWI, or another offense, Mr. Biddison will fight tirelessly to protect your innocence. To discuss your case and learn how Mr. Biddison can help you, contact his offices today at 856-427-6888.
Underage Drinking Charges in Burlington County NJ
New Jersey law addresses underage drinking in section N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which is entitled “Possession, consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under legal age.” According to this statute, it is unlawful for any person who is under the legal age to purchase alcohol (21 years old) to knowingly possess or consume alcohol without legal authority in any school, public conveyance, public place, or place of public assembly, or motor vehicle.
A violation of this section is considered a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey, which is punishable by a sentence to serve up to 6 months in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a charge on your criminal record. Notably, underage possession and consumption of alcohol offenses entail a mandatory minimum fine of $500. Moreover, if the offense occurred in a motor vehicle, the person is subject to a 6-month period of driver’s license suspension, in addition to aforementioned penalties.
As previously mentioned, if you are convicted of underage alcohol possession or consumption, this will result in a charge on your criminal record. In order to remove this conviction and to prevent it from appearing on a criminal background check in the future, you must file for an expungement with the State of New Jersey. Ideally, your attorney will be able to have your charges dismissed or reduced to a municipal ordinance violation, which will not appear on your criminal record. If you were already convicted or plead guilty, Mr. Biddison handles the entire expungement process for clients who seek to start fresh with a clean criminal record, which can be essential when seeking future employment and educational opportunities.
Contact Mount Holly NJ Underage Alcohol Possession Attorney for Answers
If you, or your son or daughter, is facing underage drinking, possession of alcohol, or underage DUI charges in Burlington County or elsewhere in South Jersey, your best defense is just a phone call away. Simply contact The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison to receive your cost-free consultation.