It happens all too often; your college student was at a party and the police showed up and made multiple underage drinking arrests or citations. You receive a frantic call from your child worrying about their future and the potential ramifications of the incident. Here is some information to help you and your child.
People convicted of underage drinking in Pennsylvania should expect the conviction to remain on their criminal record for at least five years. This means that after your student graduates from university, the information will likely still appear on his or her record for potential employers to see.
After law enforcement issues a citation, you have 10 days to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. An experienced attorney can assist you through the process if you or your child feel unsure about how to proceed. Those who plead not guilty receive notice by mail of their hearing date at which they must appear.
First-time offenders can expect to pay no more than a $300 fine plus court costs if found guilty of the charge. Further, the wrongdoer faces driver’s license suspension for a period of 90 days. Subsequent offenses result in a maximum fine of $500. Second-time underage drinkers face a license suspension of one year with further offenses resulting in suspension of two years.
Anytime you face charges for a crime has the potential to alter the course of your life, no matter how minor. Knowing what lies ahead can help you maintain a sense of composure as you proceed through the process.