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Iowa college student needing advice about ticket for underage drinking because she refused to take the breathalizer

Dubuque, IA |

We'd like to know if she needs representation to go to court. She's 20 yrs old and has no record at all. She's an IL resident attending school in Dubuque. The police locked her up overnight and told her she'd have to take the test before she could be released. She did and it registered zero. We live in Chicago and would appreciate some advice.
Thank you

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Attorney answers 2


It sounds as if she was charged with either public intoxication or possession of alcohol under legal age (PAULA). It's difficult to say whether or not she has a defense to the charge without additional facts. She should disclose these in private during a legal consultation and not online. Both of these chargers are unique in the sense they can be expunged from her adult criminal record after
two years. If she did not see a magistrate judge, then there will be an initial appearance that she will need to attend. She does not need an attorney at this point, but if the state is looking for additional jail time, then she could apply for a public defender or retain private counsel. I suggest that she enter a plea of not guilty until she can review the facts with a lawyer.


If she is convicted or receives a deferred sentence, Iowa will report it to IL and her driver's license will be suspended. She needs to make it go away with some sort of pretrial diversion or an amended charge that does not involve alcohol.

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