How can I be charged with Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor when none of the underage people were charged?
No One Else Charged
Many furnishing suspects erroneously believe that the police must charge someone with underage drinking in order to have sufficient evidence to file charges related to furnishing alcohol to a minor. The police do need to have evidence that an underage person was furnished with alcohol by the suspected furnisher, but the police do not have to file charges against the underage person. To the contrary, in many cases, the police intentionally do not file charges against the underage person to give the underage person the incentive to testify against the furnisher. Basically, the underage person often receives a “cooperation discount” on the charges, meaning that the underage person is not charged as long as he or she agrees to testify against the person charged with furnishing alcohol to minors. The “cooperation discount” is extremely prevalent in State College and on the Penn State Campus. While the practice may not be “fair” in the eyes of the person charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, it is lawful.
While the practice is lawful, an experienced Centre County criminal defense attorney may be able to aggressively cross-examine the underage person regarding the “deal” reached with the prosecution attorney. In many of these situations, the underage person was not even invited to the party, may have snuck into the party, and may thereby have actually committed a trespass offense in the process of obtaining the alcohol. By emphasizing the criminal actions of the underage person and noting the numbers of charges that could have been levied against said underage person, the jury may question the credibility of the underage person and thereby find the furnishing person not guilty of Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor. Contact State College criminal defense lawyer Jason S. Dunkle to review the case of a person charged with Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor.