I was at Churchill Downs this past weekend and received a citation. My girlfriend did as well. We were at opening night with my brother and sister in law who are well over 21. My brother asked my girlfriend who is 21 to buy him a beer if the line isn't too long. After we placed our bets we came by the line and it wasn't too long. She got in line and purchased the beer as I waited on the side. I know how this may look but it wasn't for me. After she bought the beer her hands were full with my brothers change since he gave her a 20 dollar bill. I grabbed the beer and I did take one drink just to mess with my brother and after I did these cops came out of no where and demanded my ID. They have issued me a citation for underage drinking and her one for issuing it to me which isn't correct. I have received one ticket for not wearing my seatbelt in high school and my girlfriend has never got a ticket for anything. We are both great kids who have another year left of college and would love to not have something petty on our record.
If your citation is marked "payable," then you won't have to go to court. If it contains a court date, you will have to appear in court. Hire a defense attorney to assist you.
This response is only general information and is not legal advice. It does not form an attorney-client relationship and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. You should seek a qualified attorney before taking any action related to your inquiry.
I practice in Jefferson County, Kentucky and handle these cases regularly. You will not have to go to court if you hire an attorney because your attorney can appear for you. You should not just pay the citation as that would be pleading guilty and would go on your criminal history.
The best course of action would be to contact/hire an attorney to see if a better resolution than just paying the citation can be reached. Most of the time it can. And an attorney may be able to put you and your girlfriend in a position to get the charges expunged from your record.
Providing this information does not create an "attorney-client" relationship nor should it be viewed as legal advice.
DO NOT JUST PAY THE FINE. If you have an attorney, you (same for your GF) do not have to be in court. But if you just pay the fine, neither of you will be eligible to have the charges erased from your record for five years from the payments date, and that would not be good. Hire an attorney to handle this for you in a way that avoids any criminal record. My office is near the courthouse and we routinely handle these types of cases, but you will want to call around and work with whoever makes you the most comfortable and confident.
This advice is not intended to nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please be advised that every case is different, and while any answers given here may be a helpful guide, they are no substitute for one-on-one, in-depth legal advice related to your unique situation. Please always consult fully with an attorney in your area.
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