Criminal Defense Attorney For Underage Drinking In Indianapolis
Have you or your child been arrested for underage drinking in Indianapolis? Any alcohol or drug related charge for a minor can be devastating and can create anxiety and stress about the future. Often times, young people who are becoming adults are often drawn to behaviors that are part of the whole adult experience. Drinking alcohol is a big attraction for most minors and is often seen as rite of passage from child to adult. Alcohol is so widely portrayed on television, social media, and other outlets as fun and carefree, so this attracts even more minors to it. If you have been arrested and charged with underage drinking, it is important to contact an experienced defense attorney to handle your case.
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If you have been charged with underage drinking in Indianapolis, do not hesitate to contact Patel Defense for a FREE case evaluation.
What Is Underage Drinking?
In Indiana, a person must be at least 21 years of age to legally consume alcohol. There are several types of charges associated with underage drinking. The most common underage drinking charges in Indiana are:
- Consume, possess, or transport alcohol – It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to knowingly consume or possess an alcoholic beverage. Minors are also prohibited from transporting alcohol unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who is at least 21 years of age.
- Make a false statement in order to obtain alcohol – It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to intentionally make a false statement about their age to obtain alcohol. This includes presenting a fake ID to make the purchase of alcohol.
- Enter a bar or any public place that furnishes or sells alcoholic beverage – It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to enter a bar or public place that furnishes or sells alcoholic beverages. There are several exceptions to this rule such as: civic center, convention center, sports arenas, bowling alleys, drug and grocery stores and many others.
- Operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol – Indiana has a zero tolerance law for minors who operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. If you are under the age of 21 and have a blood alcohol concentration of .02% or more, you will lose your driver’s license for one year and face other penalties.
Underage drinking carries stiff penalties that include fines, jail time, alcohol treatment program, license suspensions and community service. Even just possessing alcohol is enough to be charged with underage drinking in Indiana. The prosecution is not required to prove that you were intoxicated with this charge.
Defending Against Underage Drinking
When a minor under the age of 18 is suspected of underage drinking, the charge is handled differently than someone who is over 18 but less than 21. Offenses involving juveniles are handled in the state’s juvenile court system. Juveniles are then charged with committing a delinquent act and have a court proceeding that is similar to that of an adult trial. The juvenile process differs from the adult system in that they focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Possible outcomes of juvenile underage drinking are probation, community service, alcohol treatment classes or placement in foster care. The goal of juvenile court is to set the juvenile back on track to becoming a productive member of society.
If you are over the age of 18 and are charged with underage drinking, you face more serious consequences than those who are under the age of 18. You will no longer have the protection of the juvenile court system. You can be charged with a misdemeanor and face fines, jail time and driver’s license suspension. Hiring an experienced attorney who will review your case to create a solid defense strategy is your best chance of keeping your record clean. Patel Defense is a qualified lawyer who can handle both juvenile and adult underage drinking charges in Indianapolis.