I'm 20 years old, I recently got a ticket for underage drinking. I'm just concerned on what to expect in court; will I be eligible for some sort of diversion program since it is my first offense and should I plead guilty? Also, will this stay on my record or is there any way to get it off?
You may be eligible for diversion and depending on the circumstances, the prosecutor, the court, etc., it may be offered to you. But regardless, you should seek counsel to assist you in assuring the most favorable outcome. And yes, if you are convicted of the "crime" it will be on your record forever, unless a court sets it aside a later date, but even then there will be a record of that as well.
The answer to the first part of your question really depends on the jurisdiction in which you were charged, the alleged BAC if one was taken, and whether you have ever gone through a diversion program. Most jurisdictions offer diversion but not all of them and some exclude depending on how high your BAC is and if you've already done diversion or have had other convictions. If you were arrested, an arrest record normally stays with minimal exceptions. A conviction can be set aside. A diversion will allow you to earn a dismissal but the charge will still show.
You should consider hiring an attorney. Like other criminal offenses, there are many ways to defend a minor in consumption charge.
I am only licensed in Nevada, but I highly suggest you retain a local licensed attorney to help you with your citation. Many times the Attorney can prevent the charges from being filed, have the charges dismissed, or plea to have your charges dismissed if you complete your court ordered obligations, (ie counseling, fines, community service, etc). Thank you and I wish you the best of luck!
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