Centre County Furnishing Alcohol to Minor Case

Cops-In-Shops Follow Up Investigation

Client was driven to a State College liquor store. Undercover officers were conducting surveillance in the parking lot and watched Client exit the vehicle and enter the store. The driver and other passengers remained in the vehicle. Client exited the store with alcohol, put the alcohol in the trunk,  entered the vehicle, and the vehicle drove off. The police followed the vehicle to an apartment building. As Client exited the vehicle, the police approached and detained everyone to conduct an investigative detention. The pohim and the other occupants of the vehicle and detained everyone to conduct a Furnishing Alcohol to Minors investigation. After discovering that on Client was over 21, Client was charged with Unlawful Acts Relative to Liquor, which is basically a Furnishing Alcohol to Minor charge that is found under the Liquor Code in Pennsylvania.

In many cases like this involving non-violent misdemeanor charges, they are resolved via the ARD program. Client had previously had ARD, so the prosecutor was not willing to allow ARD in this case. At the first court proceeding, State College criminal defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle argued that the charge should be dismissed because Client had never relinquished possession.  Client was in the process of exiting the vehicle when the police detained everyone. Client had not been given the opportunity to take the alcohol from the trunk. Client had not walked away and left the alcohol in trunk.  If Client had walked away, then he would have “furnished” by leaving the alcohol in the vehicle with the minors in possession.

The prosecutor acknowledged that there would be difficulties in obtaining a conviction in the case, so an agreement was reached to reduce the charge to a summary offense of Disorderly Conduct and the misdemeanor furnishing charge was dismissed. Client was able to expunge the misdemeanor upon dismissal, and Client was able to expunge the summary conviction after 5 years.