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I was charged with underage consumption while sober. What can I expect in court? Can I get this expunged from my record?

Sewanee, TN |

Yesterday was my first Friday of college. I am 18, and I had one beer at 9:00 PM in my dorm room before going out. Around 1:00 AM my friends and I, sober, decided to drive to Waffle House. As we left campus, we came to a police block testing for DUIs. There were two people sitting in the front seat, so naturally they stopped us and started performing tests on our driver (who was 22 and sober). The police asked if anyone was underage and had been drinking, and four of us were and admitted to it, though none of us had had anything to drink after 9:00 PM. I asked the officer if he would do a breathalyzer test, and he said if he did, I would still register for alcohol. They did not read us our Miranda rights and later told us everything was recorded. We were charged with underage consumption.

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Attorney answers 1


There is a good chance that with the proper representation that you could obtain a dismissal on your underage consumption charge. Due to the fact that an Underage Consumption is usually not considered an extremely serious offense, often a DA or court may agree to dismiss the charge upon completion of community service, staying out of trouble, or other conditions. Any charge that is dismissed can be expunged from your record in Tennessee. The key first step is to get the charge dismissed or diverted in the first place. If you are found or plead guilty to a charge, it cannot later be expunged in Tennessee. As far as expectations in court are concerned, expect the judge to ask you how you plea. You can plead not guilty and ask to apply for a court appointed lawyer (if you qualify) or you can ask the judge for time to hire a lawyer if you desire or if you don't qualify for a court appointed attorney. I recommend that you dress nicely (wear a suit or jacket and tie if you are a male and have it, and dress nicely and conservatively if you are a female). Address the judge, if asked, as "yes, your honor" or "no, your honor" and be respectful. Good luck. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have additional questions.