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An underage drinking charge is not a felony or misdemeanor, but it can result in jail time, fines and driver’s license suspension. It is classified as a non-traffic summary offense. Underage Drinking in PA in Easton, Bethlehem or Allentown, under § 6308 is serious.
Purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages. 18 pa.c.s. 6308
The penalties for an underage drinking conviction in Pennsylvania for the first offense and each subsequent offense: • First offense: Maximum sentence of 90 days in jail, fines of up to $500 and a driver’s license suspension of 90 days • Second offense: Maximum sentence of 90 days in jail, fines of up to $1,000 and a driver’s license suspension of one year • Third offense: Maximum sentence of 90 days in jail, fines up to $1,000 and a driver’s license suspension of two years Jail time It’s important to note that while jail time or incarceration is one of the penalties for all underage drinking offenses, this penalty is rarely imposed.
A criminal defense attorney experienced in defending college students against these types of charges can help reduce or get rid of the jail time penalty altogether. Driver’s license suspension The driver’s license suspension penalty heavily increases with each offense, going from 90 days to two years. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania law is strict about this penalty. Also, a conviction does appear on a record. If there is not any good defences tot he charge, you may be able to get a program (ARD) that can xpunge the record once you complete the requirements.
Do I need an attorney? An experienced attorney can help find weaknesses in your case to prevent the conviction from happening in the first place. Each case is different, so a consultation to present what happened and get some insight on how to proceed from the charge is important. It’s important to know that although an underage drinking conviction is not a felony or misdemeanor, it would still go on your public record and be visible to future employers. Having an attorney to represent you is wise so that you can protect your future as much as possible from an underage drinking conviction.