There is a PA Supreme Court case that held that you cannot be convicted on the odor of alcohol on breath alone, so, based upon your submission, you should win. However, it is extremely rare that the officer shows up and limits testimony to the odor. Officers routinely testify as to other intoxication indicators, such as blood shot eyes, slurred speech, and difficulty standing. Those additional "intoxication indicators" act as circumstantial evidence that you had been drinking and would be sufficient. You probably have a better suppression argument that the police detained you and wouldn't let you leave until you proved your innocence. If the police detained you in violation of your rights, then you may be able to seek suppression of all evidence and thereby obtain a not guilty verdict. For some examples of how these arguments are made, check out some of my Underage Success Stories at the link below.
It is very important that you hire a lawyer so that the proper arguments are made at the appropriate times. If you do not object at the right time, the judge will hold that you waived the objection. Getting a lawyer will cost you money, but substantially increasing the likelihood that you win makes it worth it.
Jason S. Dunkle, Esq.
JD Law, P.C.
204 East Calder Way, Suite 306
State College, PA 16801
The responses provided on this site are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice regarding an individual situation. No attorney-client relationship is created between the reader and JD Law, P.C.
You are not a minor but are under the age to drink alcohol. The police must prove in a court room that you were drinking alcohol. It sounds that they will be unable to prove the case unless they secure the admission that you provided here in this public forum. You should hire a criminal attorney, ask for a hearing and go into court . You don't want to be convicted because it calls for a 90 day license suspension and you will have a record.
This case could go either way so you should hire a good lawyer and be prepared with all the best arguments by sitting discussing everything that occurred with the lawyer. Ask the lawyer to examine the potential suppression issues as well as all of the factors that may have indicated intoxication. You can read more about PA Underage drinking at the link below.
Steven F. Fairlie, Esq.
Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
1501 Lower State Road, Suite 304
North Wales, PA 19454
voice: (215) 997-1000
fax: (215) 997-1777
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