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I was issued a citation for possession of alcohol in Raleigh Wake County. I am 18 years old. What should I do?

Raleigh, NC |
Attorney answers 4


The first thing that you should do is GET A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER. I mean that in all seriousness. Get a lawyer. Your lawyer should be able to work out a favorable situation for you if you don't have a criminal record. You may have several options including Teen Court, community service, deferred prosecution, etc to avoid a formal conviction on your record. If you have not had a first appearance yet, you need to attend court on your first appearance date and either ask for a Public Defender (if you qualify) or you should hire an attorney to assist you. If you fail to hire a lawyer to help you, you may be forced into a situation that is going to harm your record for life. The District Attorney works for the State of North Carolina. He doesn't work for you as a defendant. No matter what a DA tells you, they do not have your best interest in mind. They have a conviction in mind.

Good luck

The information provided in this answer is for informational purposes only. This poster does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the author of this question. more specific questions should be posed to an attorney local to the area where the question originated and who has an attorney-client relationship with the author of the question.


There are usually ways to get a case like this dismissed. At least call a few lawyers who offer free consultations and see what they have to say. After talking with them, you can choose to either handle it yourself, get a court appointed attorney, or hire private counsel.


Definitely call a few lawyers and find out what they advise.

Here's some free advice for a lawyer: do NOT post anything about your arrest on social media - not your Facebook, not your Twitter, not anywhere. While it is nothing to be ashamed of, anything you say online can be used against you, and it is really best to keep this stuff hush hush.

Good luck to you!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to form a client/lawyer relationship. You can contact me for a limited telephone consultation or an email consultation at my website,, which is listed below. In addition to operating my own firm, I also work for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit law firm which exists to protect the rights of prisoners in the custody of the state of North Carolina. If a loved one is in prison in North Carolina, advise the inmate that they may write to North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. NCPLS will review their case at no cost and will litigate at no cost to the inmate if the case meets NCPLS' standards. NCPLS can also provide some assistance to inmates seeking to represent themselves. I am also available for cases that do not deal with inmates incarcerated in North Carolina's jails and prisons.


Hire an attorney so that the attorney can assist you. The attorney you hire will likely advise you of your options given your specific situation, including your prior record level (criminal history or lack thereof) and advise you on whether the state has a strong case against you. Once you are advised, you will understand your circumstance better as well as what to expect as you navigate through the legal system.

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