You should consult with a qualified local attorney. You may have defenses to the citation that are worth examining. You should also discuss how you can have your record expunged and whether diversionary programs exist in North Carolina for which you would be eligible.
Best of luck.
Joshua H. Reinitz, Esq.
Iacullo Martino, LLC
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Disclaimer: The information here is general and not intended to be construed as legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice contact a qualified attorney
I need some additional information, because there are a few different types of "underage drinking" citations. If I understand your question, your citation was for the simple possession of alcohol by a minor and does NOT involve any sort of driving a motor vehicle. Frankly, we actively encourage people to seek out legal counsel. There are sometimes options to avoid a conviction, which if you "just pay the fine" is actually an admission of guilt and is considered a "conviction." An experienced attorney will want to know more about the facts of the case, first to determine if the State of North Carolina has enough evidence to proceed. Perhaps more importantly, an attorney would be interested in any PRIOR offenses that could be adversely affected by a conviction. . .even what appears to be a relatively simple matter. Many attorneys will provide a confidential consultation at no charge. Depending on the county / city you were cited, we may be able to provide you some helpful information and/or a referral to an attorney whom practices in that area.