I got a citation for underage drinking and I have to go to court tomorrow, what should i do?

Asked over 2 years ago - Philadelphia, PA

They did not breathalyze me, but they did arrest me, and my other friends without reciting their rights. What should I say or do? I dont want to pay the fine, i'd rather do community service. how do I achieve that?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Jason S Dunkle

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . My recommendation is to get a lawyer. They do not have to breathalyze you, and most cops do not breathalyze for an Underage case because the test results are not admissible in an Underage hearing. You can readily be convicted of Underage Drinking based upon circumstantial evidence, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, difficulty standing, and odor of alcohol on breath. Cops do not need to Mirandize you simply because you were arrested. They only need to Mirandize you if they question you while you were arrested, and a violation of Miranda only results in the suppression of your statements, not a dismissal of the charges. There are many ways to win an Underage case, but you need an experienced lawyer. The arguments that you assert in your question are absolute losers in court. The way to achieve the best results is to pay an experienced defense attorney in Philly to handle the case.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    D & H Law Group, P.C.
    State College, PA 16801

  2. James Paul Madsen

    Contributor Level 9

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I completely agree with Attorney Dunkle. Many more details would be needed to formulate a defense. Sometimes police may give you a citation for simply being with others who were drinking and other times there is a lot more evidence that you were imbibing.

    It seems it may be a little too late to contact an attorney now, since your court date is tomorrow. Be aware that attorneys are not allowed to solicit your business in a courthouse due to ethical reasons. But, if you approach them and solicit their representation they are allowed to take your case.

    Normally I wouldn't suggest finding an attorney in this way but I thought it would be helpful for you to know.

    My response to your question is a generic response and should not be construed as controlling to your case. I can... more
  3. Mark M Cheser

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . Follow my colleagues excellent advice.

  4. Michael Lawrence Doyle

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The common assertion that "I wasn't read my rights when I was arrested and therefore my charges should be dropped" is essentially a myth. You only need to be read rights before a statement is made, and even then only the statement gets dropped-not the charges.

    In terms of the offense-get an attorney. If found guilty, you will have your license suspended. The collateral consequences are severe-even though it seems like a minor charge.

    Michael L. Doyle
    (215) 735-5900

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