A charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6310.1, basically alleges that a person provided alcohol to another person who was underage, meaning a person under the age of 21.
In State College, furnishing alcohol to minors charges often stem from police raids of Underage Drinking parties or from undercover officers working in liquor stores and six-pack shops in Cops-in-Shops types of programs. Furnishing alcohol to minors cases are more prevalent in areas that are located close to major universities, given the volume of underage drinking that occurs on campuses.
With the JD Law office being located in Centre County, State College criminal defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle has represented hundreds of people charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor and related criminal offenses who were students at Penn State University Park Campus in Centre County, Penn State Altoona Campus in Blair County, Lock Haven University in Clinton County, and Juniata College in Huntingdon County.
Will the Charge Appear on Background Searches? Most Likely.
A routine situation in Centre County involves the State College police responding to a noise complaint and stumbling upon a Penn State underage drinking party. While the majority of the guests are issued summary nontraffic citations for Underage Drinking, the residents or tenants of the apartment generally receive no citations that evening.
The party hosts sometimes think that they will not be charged, but the hosts of the State College party are likely to receive a summons in the mail that lists misdemeanor offenses of Furnishing Alcohol to Minors.
Misdemeanor charges require the person to submit to fingerprinting and a mugshot, which thereby creates a record with the Pennsylvania State Police and FBI. This processing creates a criminal record that would appear on almost any criminal background search.
Multiple Charges and Multiple Penalties for One Incident? Yes.
In Centre County and many others, hosting parties that are attended by underage drinkers or buying alcohol for underage persons often leads to the filing of misdemeanor charges of furnishing alcohol to minors, one under the Crimes Code and one under the Liquor Code. While alcohol may have only been provided to one person, the furnisher is often charged with two different offenses.
Also, two charges may be filed for each underage person who was at the party if the police have evidence that the underage person consumed alcohol at the party. While the underage person may have been intoxicated, the police can use statements from underage drinkers to prosecute the furnishing charges against the party host. The Furnishing Alcohol to Minors charge under the Crimes Code carries mandatory minimum fines and a possible sentence of probation or even incarceration. For additional information regarding furnishing alcohol to a minor, review the Frequently Asked Questions.
Aside from the criminal penalties, if the person charged is a Penn State student, the student is also highly likely to be contacted by the Penn State Office of Student Conduct and may face disciplinary sanctions through the school. The school disciplinary process is separate and distinct from the criminal process, so a Penn State student often receives two punishments for the same incident.
What Should I Do? Contact Our Attorneys Today.
Given the severe consequences associated with a furnishing alcohol to minors charge, it is very important that you have a criminal defense attorney to advocate on your behalf and try to obtain the best resolution possible.
- Criminal defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle and the defense team at JD Law have represented many people charged with furnishing alcohol to minors, including Penn State students and fraternities.
- Attorney Dunkle has represented hundreds of Penn State students in both the criminal setting and in a disciplinary setting at Penn State.
- As a brother of the Beta Delta chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, Attorney Dunkle is intimately familiar with the impact that furnishing alcohol to minors' charges can have on fraternal organizations.
Attorney Dunkle uses his knowledge and experience in handling criminal cases to explain your legal rights and recommend a course of action.
If you or someone your know has been charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, you should contact JD Law by email or by calling 814-954-1094 or and scheduling a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced State College criminal defense lawyer.