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Should I plead not guilty for my second underage drinking citation?

Bethlehem, PA |

I received my first underage citation in September and I was given the opportunity to take a couple classes at my college so it would be taken off of my record before I am 21. I just received my second underage citation in my friends dorm. I had drank one beer at a friends house off campus and then was driven back to my dorm building later on. I then was sitting in my friend's dorm room NOT DRINKING, while the rest of my friends had some beer on the floor. The Ra's came around and knocked on the door and came in. They took all of our information and then found out one of the kids I didn't know in the room was 16 years old. They then had to call the police because of this one kid. We were all breathalized and I told the cop that I did not drink in the dorm. I blew a 0.4.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Despite the fact that you were not drinking at the time, you may still be found guilty of underage drinking. The law prohibits the possession, CONSUMPTION, or transportation of alcohol by anyone underage. The issue here may be that the breathalyzer will have to be shown to be accurate. In order to do this, the police will need proof of calibration and accuracy. Two things that are usually not present with a PBT. If you made an admission to drinking alcohol or you were visibly intoxicated (stumbling, vomiting) those two pieces of evidence can be used against you to prove you are guilty. The jurisdiction in which you drank the alcohol being different than the one you were stopped in is no longer a defense.

You should get counsel immediately and discuss your case. You are facing some serious fines and an additional one year loss of license because this is your second underage. Do not go into court without counsel.

Good luck!

There is no attorney client relationship created by this email. This response is provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice upon which one should rely for the purposes of litigation, establishing a course of conduct, or representation.

Posted

You should absolutely plead not guilty and consult with an attorney immediately. You need to be able to preserve your rights and make sure you are protected if you go to court.

Posted

In many situations it is in the best interest of the accused to to plead not guilty. This preserves many rights that the accused has related to criminal charges. In your case, it would be a good idea to plead not guilty and seek the guidance of an experienced attorney.

As mentioned above, many of the underage offenses require only the presence of any amount of alcohol. Therefore, a seemingly minor .04 is still a big deal when you are underage.

Good luck!

Posted

No. There are many ways an attorney can make sure that you don't walk out of D.J. court with an underage drinking conviction and a 90 day loss of license. You could get another crack at classes or a combination of classes and community service in order to have the charge dismissed or amended. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case you may also be able to beat it at a hearing.

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