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I got an ordinance citation for underage consumption in Knoxville, TN. What should I do?

Knoxville, TN |

The officer who issued me the citation was a UTPD officer who never found me actually possessing/consuming alcohol. However, in the citation description, the officer put that I had bloodshot eyes and had an odor of alcohol. I have never gotten a citation before (except for a minor traffic violation). I'm worried that this will go on my record and I really don't want that to happen. What consequences can I expect when I go to court and do I need to hire a lawyer for this?

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Attorney answers 3


You should definitely hire an attorney. I assume from your being arrested by a UTPD that you are young and in college. While it's possible you could resolve this on your own, it's a gamble that may not be worth taking. The last thing you want coming out of college is any sort of criminal record. An attorney can very possibly keep this off your record. If you plan on any post graduate studies such as med school, law school, etc., they will want information about this arrest as would any future employers.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. I provide this service for educational purposes only. I will take no action on your behalf unless you have hired me and a written retainer agreement is signed. I am licensed only in Tennessee and I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney in your city and state as Statute of Limitation deadlines can limit your recovery.



Thanks for responding so quickly! Just to clarify, I wasn't arrested! Does that make a difference? It was an ordinance citation, not a misdemeanor or a felony so would I still have to report it on grad school applications (I believe they just ask for instances involving arrests)? But you're definitely right about not wanting to gamble with my future!


My colleague is correct. You should hire an attorney in order to help you defend against this charge. In addition to the consequences that he refers to, you can also have your license suspended for an underage consumption conviction. If you would like to call me to discuss your case my number is (865) 546-0011.


You need a lawyer. You're not the first person that UTPD has ever cited to Court on these facts and if the officer testifies that you smelled of alcohol, you're a conviction is imminent. (Judges tend to believe police officers over students). Unless you want a driver's license suspension, you'd better get a lawyer. My office handles these every year. (865) 522-9000.

If you would like a consultation, call (865) 522-9000 to make an appointment. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.