How can I be charged with Furnishing Alcohol to Minors if the only witnesses were underage people that were drunk at the party?

Drunk Witnesses

Many people ask how they can be charged with Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor if all of the witnesses were underage drinkers at the party. How can someone who was breaking the law be a valid witness? And how can a drunk person be a valid witness? Regrettably, being a drunk underage drinker does not render the person unable to testify against the furnisher, and the prosecution’s case can be based on that testimony. A drunk person often does not make for a good witness in the future because a drunk person often has trouble perceiving what is happening when drunk, and they often forget what happened. But there is a difference between being able to testify at all and whether or not the person is a good witness.

An underage person may also exercise their 5th Amendment right to remain silent and thereby refuse to testify against the furnisher. The underage person could be charged with Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor under 18 Pa.C.S. 6308(a). The underage person could not be forced to testify about the incident and could instead remain silent. However, in such a situation, the prosecutor or officer may agree to dismiss the criminal charge against the underage in exchange for their testimony against the furnisher. The prosecution would much rather agree to dismiss a summary offense of Underage Drinking and prosecute the misdemeanor offense of Furnishing. The fact that the underage is getting a deal in exchange for testimony does not prevent the underage witness from testifying. A criminal defense attorney can challenge the underage person’s credibility by showing that the underage person is only testifying in exchange for getting out of trouble, and the judge or jury would consider the credibility or weight to be given to that testimony.  If the judge or jury did not believe the underage person’s testimony, then the furnisher would be found not guilty. However, if the judge or jury believed the testimony, the furnisher would be convicted and thereby face hefty fines for a conviction of Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor.