State College Underage Drinking Attorney

State College criminal defense attorney Jason Dunkle has been representing Penn State students and visitors since 2004, so he has represented thousbands of young adults that that were charged with alcohol related offenses like Underage Drinking, Possession of a Fake ID, and Public Drunkenness.  Some cases can be fought and won, and Attorney Dunkle has a history of obtaining favorable resolutions in underage drinking cases.  Other cases should be negotiated with the officer and judge to obtain a favorable result.

Misconceptions about Underage Drinking

We often call a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. 6308 Underage Drinking, but the law actually prohibits a person under 21 from transporting, possessing, purchasing, or consuming.  When people conduct a Google search, the first part of the law references purchase, and people think that the cop made a mistake and charged the person for purchasing and not consuming.  The law covers all those things, so the citaiton for a violaton of 18 Pa.C.S. 6308 was accurate.  And the police do not need to administer field sobriety tests, breath tests, or blood tests to prove that a person had been drinking.  For more debunking of misconceptions, check out an Underage Drinking FAQ here.

How Severe is a Charge of Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania

Many people think underage drinking “is no big deal.”  Overall, the summary offense of Underage Drinking is not nearly as severe as a misdemenaor DUI or drug possession.  A person is rarely sentenced to jail time for an Underage Drinking conviction The penalties for a conviction of underage drinking in Pennsylvania are quite severe, including payment of hefty fines and court costs and a mandatory suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges.

In Pennsylvania, a criminal charge like underage drinking can be found in a government database called the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) that is free and readily available to the public. Not only can the general public use this system, but many background search companies access this system to generate background search reports for employers and landlords.  Having an Underage Drinking conviction on a record is not likely to prevent a person from getting a job, but it also is common sense that having no record is bettern than having a record.

Can I Represent Myself in an Underage Drinking Case

Sure.  You can also change the brakes on your vehicle by conducting some research on Google, completing the work, and then hoping that you did it correctly.  If you didn’t install the brakes properly, bad things happen.  When things are important, like mechanical issues with a vehicle or electrial issues at home, people hire a professional to fix the problem.  Hiring a lawyer is no different.  A lawyer is hired to clean up a mess and fix a problem so that the client knows that things are done and done right.  The client can focus on school instead of appearing in court with no clue about what will happen and just hoping that thing go correctly.  Some people make it through the process, but some don’t.  If problems arise in the future, the young adult or the parent states “if only I had known, I would have done things differently,” but, at that point, it is too late.

People often believe that Underage charges do not appear on background searches or that the charges are automatically expunged upon completion of a program.  Such charges can appear on background searches and such charges are not expunged automatically.  When the information is found by a background search company or if the young adult gets into trouble again and the court treats the new case as a second offense, it is too late to expunge.  Had the case been handled correctly initially, the problem would have been avoided.  It is often better to pay some money and have the case handled correctly from the beginning.

Free Consultation

If you or someone you know has been charged with Underage Drinking, DUI, or Possession of a Fake ID, you should have the case reviewed by an experienced and reputable criminal defense attorney. Not all attorneys are equal. When considering which attorney to hire, click here for a review of factors that you should consider.  .For a free case review with an experienced State College Underage Drinking attorney, contact JD Law via email or call (814) 689-9139.