My son was in Florida on spring break last week and was issued a summons to appear for underage drinking. He is 20 (will be 21 in two months) and was at Cocoa Beach with three friends. He was the only one under 21 and they were approached by undercover cops after they started drinking their first beer. He cannot go back to appear in court and we were told to just plead guilty through mail and pay the fine. I am concerned for his future because he is a junior in college and planning to do a intership next semester as a substance abuse counsler at a prison. Will this keep him from getting the internship or any related jobs after he graduates? Should he plead guilty? This happened in FL but we live in CT
Criminal Defense Attorney
It is a legitimate concern. I would suggest calling an attorney in that county to advise you and to handle the charge. It may be possible to either get diversion and pay off the community service hours or to have the charge dropped or dismissed, depending on the facts. These options will not be available by mail. Instead, an attorney can speak to the prosecutor and make a case for your son. Or, there may be some defect in the citation or charge a lawyer can exploit on your behalf.
If there is no other option but to plead guilty, or no contest, an attorney can tell you that and assure that he gets a withhold of adjudication so that he can then get the record sealed in the future.