Alcohol offenses on campus usually arise from social events and parties that involve underage drinking. There is a likelihood that an underage person may be attending a party where alcohol is present since the range of students in a college setting is typically between 18 to 21.
In addition, colleges often will have parties, mixers, functions, sorority, and fraternity events that may be serving alcohol, which could end up violating the school’s policies. They may be holding alcohol serving events unbeknownst to the school or in direct violation of the policy. This is most often where these charges arise. Also, underage students will typically gather in a dorm room and, sometimes, if the noise is reported, then the campus staff or security may investigate and discover that alcohol is present in the room.
If you have been charged with violating an alcohol policy at your school, contact a Philadelphia campus alcohol offense lawyer. Let a seasoned student defense attorney fight for you.
There are four common alcohol-related violations on college campuses: underage possession or consumption of alcohol (underage drinking), underage purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol, possession or use of a fake ID, and selling or furnishing a fake ID. All of these charges involve or are closely related to alcohol possession.
First, Purchase, consumption, or possession of alcohol is an offense under Section 6308 in the Pennsylvania Criminal Code. It states that a person commits a summary offense if they are less than 21 years of age, attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses, or knowingly and intentionally transports liquor or malt-brewed beverages. An individual facing these charges should consult with a campus alcohol offense lawyer in Philadelphia right away.
The law on underage drinking continues, saying that: For the purposes of this section, it shall not be a defense that the liquor or malt-brewed beverage was consumed in a jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction where the citation for underage drinking was issued. The penalty for this, if the person is convicted of violating the sub-section, is a fine of not more than $500 on the first violation and not more than $1,000 for the second and subsequent violations. This will also result in a summary conviction, which would appear on their criminal record.
The second violation is selling or furnishing liquor or malt liquor to minors. This is under 6310.1, and this is a misdemeanor of the third degree: if a person intentionally and knowingly sells or intentionally and knowingly furnishes or purchases with the intent to sell or furnish any malt or liquor beverage to a person less than 21 years of age. The law also has an exemption for religious services or ceremonies conducted in a private home or a place of worship, as long as the service does not exceed amounts reasonably or traditionally required as part of the service.
The minimum penalty for this is a fine of not less than $1,000 on the first violation and a fine of not less than $2,500 for each subsequent violation. The court does not have the authority to impose a lesser sentence than those fines if someone is convicted of that charge. Nothing prevents the court from giving a higher sentence, and it is a misdemeanor of the third degree. An offender could get up to one year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine.
The third charge is carrying a false identification card, section 6310.3 in the criminal code. A person commits a summary offense for a first violation and a misdemeanor of the third degree for a subsequent violation if they are under the age of 21 and possess an identification card falsely identifying the person by name, age, date of birth, or photograph as being 21 years of age or older. Also, this section penalized the attempt to obtain liquor or malt liquor by using the identification card of another person who is not lawfully issued to the person that uses the card.
The minimum penalty for this is, if convicted, is a fine of not more than $500, and no court can suspend the sentence if someone is found guilty of this crime. If someone obtains pre-adjudication or alternative disposition on this charge, their parents will also be notified.
The fourth charge is the manufacturing or sale of false identification cards under 6310.2. A person knowingly commits a misdemeanor of a second degree if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly manufacture, makes, or attempts to sell an identification card falsely representing the identity, birth, or age of another person. The minimum penalty for this is a fine of not less than $1,000 for a first violation and a fine of not less than $2,500 for subsequent violations. There shall be no authority for the court to impose less than this if someone is convicted.
If you are facing campus alcohol allegations, you should get in touch with an accomplished attorney right away. A Philadelphia campus alcohol offense lawyer could fight for you and possibly help you reach a favorable resolution. An alcohol offense could lead to serious penalties and could impact your future education. Call today and set up a consultation.