Can I still be charged with supplying alcohol to minors after the incident?

Asked about 2 years ago - South Elgin, IL

On the evening of the incident I had bought alcohol for two of my friends who are 16. I am 21. We consumed the alcohol and decided to go for a walk. Along the way my two friends started car hopping and stole a few items. Eventually the police were called and the three of us were detained and taken to the police station. The officers interviewed us separately. I was the last to be interviewed. Apparently one of my friends had told the police that I bought the alcohol for them but he provided the officer with the wrong location. The officer tried to get me to confess to supplying alcohol to the minors, but I did not. I only confessed to being drunk. He told me that he would review the security footage at the store and if he saw me buying the alcohol that he would put a warrant out for my arrest. Eventually I was released and not charged with anything. My other two friends had confessed to the car hopping and to drinking and told the officer that I had not participated in the theft (which I did not). The two friends were released as well without any charges. If my friends had been charged and I had been let go then I would not be worried, however, since they were not charged for the crime that they confessed to I am afraid that we will receive subpoenas in the mail. I am currently a college student at Indiana University and I am back home in Illinois for the summer. At Indiana University I was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and signed up for the Pretrial Diversion Program. I completed all requirements for the program but I am still on court supervision for one year. If I get any charges brought against me then I will lose all of the investments for the program and my old charge will be reinstated along with the new charge. I will then have to travel to courts in Indiana and Illinois and I will most certainly have to drop out of college for financial reasons. I was wondering what sort of legal advice I may receive and any input on the situation that may calm my fears of still being charged after the incident. I am extremely worried because all of my goals and future are currently on the line. I realize I made a horrible mistake. Thank you for any advice.

Additional information

If there is no video evidence, would the officer even be able to charge me just on the fact that my friend claimed I bought it? Also, IF I am charged how should I expect to be contacted? A subpoena in the mail? If a warrant is issued for me, how can I check for this in my area? I was also somewhat curious as to why my two friends were not charged the date of the incident. I believe the officer said that the victims did not want to press charges. Does there age have anything to do with it? Should they be expecting to be contacted still? Thank you for information about the incident and about my circumstance.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Melissa I. Smejkal

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Its possible that they will charge you later, no one can tell you for sure. Unfortunately, all you can do is wait. If they call you bring a lawyer.

  2. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The first thing you should do is never EVER again lay out all your facts in an online message board. This forum is not confidential and you never know who may be watching. You should discuss your entire situation in private with a criminal defense attorney. While you may be safe, it would be far better for you to benefit from the skills and experience of an a attorney in your area.

  3. Donald John Ramsell

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You can be charged with supplying alcohol to a minor up to 18 months after the date of the offense. However, it is unlikley that anything will be done if it goes past 30-60 days without any charges being filed.

    Every case varies depending on the law and the facts. Because questions often fail to disclose important facts,... more
  4. Benjamin J Lieberman

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The short answer is yes they could potentially still charge you. I don’t practice in your jurisdiction so I couldn’t tell you how likely it would be one way or the other (I’m inclined to say based on the offense that you wouldn’t be charged). What I could advise is that you do not say another word to any law enforcement officer without the assistance of an attorney. Oftentimes the police may not have sufficient evidence to proceed and the client talked his/her way into being criminally charged. In the larger scheme of things, the mere purchasing of alcohol for a minor isn’t the case of a century. If you are charged with this offense, an attorney may very well be able to obtain a favorable disposition for you that won’t affect school/career/future. Good Luck.

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