Alcohol Related Offenses
At JD Law, we understand that the consumption of alcohol often leads to the filing of criminal charges. With JD Law being located in downtown State College, only blocks away from the University Park Campus of Penn State University, our criminal defense lawyers have handled thousands of alcohol related cases for students, friends, and alums. The severity of such charges range from relatively minor offenses like Open Container or Underage Drinking, and the severity increases to misdemeanor offenses like Driving Under the Influence and Furnishing Alcohol to Minors. Alcohol related offenses can result in fines, license suspensions, and can result in a criminal record that may impact future job opportunities. Some professions, like doctors and nurses, are more negatively impacted by an alcohol related conviction, so obtaining a dismissal and expungement in such cases is even more important. At JD Law, we have a track record of obtaining favorable results for clients, be it through successfully fighting cases and obtaining not guilty verdicts or dismissals, or be it through reaching agreements with prosecutors or the police. Our experience includes handling cases for:
- Underage Drinking
- Public Drunkenness
- Possession of a Fake ID/Attempted Purchase of Alcohol
- Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor
You May Be Eligible for ARD or Similar Pretrial Diversionary Program
Many counties use some form of pre-adjudicative disposition or pretrial diversionary program. For many summary offenses such as Underage Drinking, Public Drunkenness, and Possession of a Fake ID, judges permit a person to complete alcohol education programs or community service in exchange for a dismissal of the charge. With more severe judges permit a person to complete alcohol education programs or community service in exchange for a dismissal of the charge. With more severe charges, such as Furnishing Alcohol to Minor or DUI, many counties allow first-time offenders to participate in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. Participation in such programs often allows the minor to minimize penalties and have the charges dismissed. Dismissed charges actually remain on a person’s record, but the person is able to seek an expungement of the dismissed charges. Dismissed charges are NOT automatically expunged. An expungement petition must be drafted and filed with the Clerk of Courts at the county Court of Common Pleas in order to complete that process.
Contact an attorney with experience in representing clients charged with such offenses in the county in which the charges are filed. In summary cases, local attorneys are often more knowledgeable about the formal and informal programs and agreements that may be reached with the officers and accepted by the judges.
Additional Considerations for Penn State Students – University Discipline
Penn State students are obviously required to follow Pennsylvania law, and a failure to do so results in the filing of criminal charges. Students are also required to follow the university’s Code of Student Conduct, which is very similar to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, and a violation of the Code of Conduct often results in the imposition of sanctions from the school. The two processes are often distinct and should be handled differently.
The attorneys at JD Law have been representing people charged with alcohol related offenses in Centre County since 2004 and have experience in handling matters in both the criminal court system and the Penn State University conduct system. For a free consultation directly with an experienced State College criminal defense attorney, please call (814) 954-7622 or contact us by email.