Philadelphia Underage Drinking Attorney

In Philadelphia, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol.  This offense can be found in the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes at 18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 6308.  If found guilty by the Court, the accused would be convicted of a summary offense which is punishable up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine.  However, if this is the accused’s first offense under this statute, the Court may permit the accused to enter into a pre-adjudication program.  This program can include work, counseling, community service, or other self-improvement activity.  Upon successful completion of the judge’s requirements, the judge shall dismiss the charges against the accused.  Further, the accused would not be subject to any penalty or fines. For further information on the court process and laws regarding minors, fake IDs, and alcohol, contact a Philadelphia student defense lawyer.

Carrying a False Identification Card (18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 6310.3)

If at the time the accused minor is questioned, detained, or arrested by authorities he or she is in possession of a fake ID, there can be additional criminal charges filed.  Under this statute, a person under 21 years of age commits a summary offense if he or she possesses an identification card which falsely identifies that person by age, name, date of birth, or photograph.  A first offense for this offense is punishable by a possible maximum of 90 days in jail and a $300 fine.  However, a second or subsequent conviction for carrying a false identification card is considered a misdemeanor of the third degree punishable by up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.  However, there also may be repercussions from a student’s academic institution. A Philadelphia underage drinking lawyer can work with you to develop a defense that takes these potential consequences into consideration.

Similar to Underage Drinking, the Court does have discretion on a first offense to allow the accused to complete a pre-adjudication program (i.e. treatment, community service, or other appropriate program) to earn the opportunity for the charge to be dismissed from his or her record. An underage drinking attorney in Philadelphia can provide more detail about pre-adjudication programs and how they may impact your case.

False ID to Law Enforcement (18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 4914)

Should the accused individual persist with providing false identification information to the police after being told that he or she is the subject of an official police investigation, the accused can be charged further with providing false identification to law enforcement.  This offense is graded as a misdemeanor of the third degree punishable by up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Potential Defenses

Often, defenses to a criminal charge in this area of the law center around suppression issues and whether or not the police had a lawful right to question, detain, or arrest the accused. Before the police can search or seize an individual suspected of a crime, they must first have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or probable cause to arrest.  If they do not have either, a Philadelphia underage drinking attorney can file a suppression motion with the Court to prevent the prosecutor from using any of the evidence that was obtained as a result of the unlawful police conduct.