My friend's 18 year old son is summoned to court with a possesion of alcohol charge against him what will happen ?
1 Answer from Attorneys
There are too many variables to predict the outcome, but I can tell you that I would be looking to have the charge converted to a civil violation (to avoid a criminal record) and dismissed upon payment of a small fine. There is certainly no gurantee of this outcome. It will depend on the court, the DA, the judge, your son's demeanor and appearance, your son's actions when arrested, the poice officer's position, the outcry of neighbors, if any, etc., and to a great degree, whether or not you hire a lawyer and who that lawyer is. People are wise to hire attorneys even for what appears to be minor charges. A lawyer should know the players in the court, whether to continue the matter to improve the chances of a better outcome, whether an apology letter should be written before or after the dsiposition, or at all. While the charge of minor in possession of alcohol is minor, it is still a criminal offense and it will still produce a criminal record if not handled properly. We have many phone calls every week from people seeking to seal their records because they cannot get a job in this difficult job market with a record.
In years past, police would simply pour out the beer and contact the parents or maybe drive the offender home and speak directly with his or her parents. Today the police cannot risk that if they give someone a break they won't be sued for soing so. As a result, even these minor offenses are now handled through the courts. I wish you and your son the best. If yo can afford it, I recommend that you hire an attorney.