If there is any age that sticks out in people’s minds when it comes to the law, it is 21. That is the age when a person can legally purchase and consume alcohol in Virginia. Most people understand that underage possession of alcohol is illegal, but they may not realize just how serious of a problem it can be for a person who is convicted. At Randall Page, P.C., we are standing by to help when you need a Virginia possession attorney. If you or a loved one are facing this charge, we will investigate the case and work to get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Underage possession is a commonly cited charge in Virginia, particularly in towns where there is a large college-aged population. However, underage possession of alcohol is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense in Virginia. To put this into perspective, a DUI offense is also a Class 1 misdemeanor.
When we turn to § 4.1-305 of the VA Code, we can find two main parts of the Virginia underage possession of alcohol statutes.
Because minor in possession charges in Virginia are considered Class 1 misdemeanor offenses, we find that the penalties include:
It is important for us to point out that these are the maximum penalties for all Class 1 misdemeanor offenses in Virginia, and these penalties are rarely applied for minor in possession of alcohol charges.
However, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $500 OR a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service for minor in possession charges. The judge in these cases will decide whether or not they want the defendant to complete the community service or pay the fine.
There is also a mandatory six-month license suspension in place for those charged with minor in possession. However, the defendant in the case is allowed to apply for a restricted license.
First-time offenders of minor in possession in Virginia may be eligible for pre-conviction probation. If a defendant asks the court to enter this program, they must complete a number of requirements. This can include treatment and education programs. If a person successfully completes pre-conviction probation, the minor in possession charge will be dismissed.
If you or somebody you care about is under 21 years of age and has been charged with being in possession of alcohol, please speak to a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Randall Page, P.C., we understand how much of a setback these charges can be for someone who is still young and working on getting their life started. We will investigate every aspect of the charges against you in an effort to get them reduced or dismissed. When you need a Virginia minor in possession of alcohol attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 757-517-8956.