What are the penalties for Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor?

Charges of Underage Drinking and Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor go hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly. The person that provides or buys the alcohol for a minor is in much more trouble than the person drinking that alcohol.  Underage Drinking is a summary offense, but Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor is a misdemeanor offense in Pennsylvania, and the person must be fingerprinted and have a mugshot taken. Because of the fingerprint requirement, both the Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI will have a record of the charges. While a conviction of Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor is not the worst thing in the world, it is commons sense that having any criminal records can impair one’s ability to get a job. For Penn State students, the criminal charges can result in the university proceeding with its disciplinary process for violations of the Code of Student Conduct.

Possible Sentences for Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

In Centre County, a person suspected of furnishing alcohol is often charged with two criminal offenses, one is Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor under 18 Pa.C.S. 6310.1,  and the second is Unlawul Acts Relative to Liquor under 47 P.S. 4-493.  The charges are slightly different.  The 6310.1 charge is slightly more difficult to prove and thereby carries more severe penalties.  A person that is convicted of Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor under 18 Pa.C.S. 6310.1 faces a minimum fine of $1,000.00 for the first violation and a fine of $2,500.00 for each subsequent violation.  The fines are mandatory minimums, meaning a sentencing judge is required by law to impose those fines.  In some situations, the police file a Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor charge for EVERY underage person at a party, which obviously substantially increases the fines.

Aside from the fines, a person convicted of Furnishing is also placed on probation.  It is relatively rare that a judge would impose a sentence of jail time for a furnishing case unless the case has egregious facts or the person has a lengthy prior criminal history.  A person convicted of the misdemeanor Furnishing Charge under the Liquor Code is subject to a fine of at least $100.00 but not more than $500.00 for a first offense, and a fine of not less than $300.00 nor more than $500.00 for a subsequent offense.

ARD for State College Furnishing Alcohol Cases

Many Furnishing cases involving Penn State students buying alcohol for another student are resolved via the pretrial diversionary program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD).  Completion of ARD allows a person to have the charges dismissed and then expunged from a criminal record.  For more info about ARD, click here.

Anyone charged with a criminal offense should contact an experienced State College Furnishing Alcohol to Minors lawyer via email or leave a message at (814) 689-9139 for a free consultation.