Unlawful Possession of Alcohol
According to SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), 26.4% of underage youth (ages 12 to 20) consume alcohol. Despite the prevalence of alcohol use by minors, it is still against the law in New York. When a law enforcement officer finds a young person under the age of 21 in possession of an alcoholic beverage, he or she may issue the minor a summons for being in "unlawful possession of alcohol." Appearing for the summons is just one of the concerns facing the youth since students may also be called to a disciplinary hearing with their high school, college, or university. This is especially true if the unlawful possession of alcohol offense occurred on campus or at a school-related function.
Just because you have been given a summons does not mean that you will be convicted or punished. There are many defenses that can be used to fight the allegation, helping you avoid punishment or any marks on your permanent record. If the law enforcement officer did not take a sample of the alcoholic beverage into evidence, this can be used to your advantage. In other cases, the NYPD will issue a summons to each young person at a party, even though insufficient proof may exist that a particular individual was actually in possession of the alcoholic beverage.
There is no set punishment for underage possession of alcohol by schools. Depending on the severity of the offense, it can include one or several of a number of penalties. This includes academic probation, expulsion, exclusion from events, removal from sports teams, or marks on the academic record. However, you have the right to defend yourself against these allegations. Consulting with a defense attorney can help you determine the best path to pursue in order to safeguard your current and future education prospects.
Queens Unlawful Possession of Alcohol Defense Attorney
With nearly 20 years of experience in the New York criminal justice system, both as a prosecutor and defense attorney, Rochelle S. Berliner has proven her dedication to her cause. She is passionate about defending the futures of youth in New York. Located in Queens, New York, her law firm represents high school and college students charged with unlawful possession of alcohol in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Manhattan.
A summons is not something to take lightly. Call 718-261-5600 or send an online message to discuss your situation with Rochelle S. Berliner during a free, confidential consultation. She will help you understand the penalties you may face and begin building a strong defense strategy to protect your academic future.
- Unlawful Possession of Alcohol with Intent to Consume in New York
- Using a Fake ID to Purchase Alcohol in New York
- Providing or Selling Alcohol to a Minor in New York
Section 65-C of New York's Alcohol Beverage Control Law (commonly known as the ABC Law) provides for certain penalties and punishments after a summons is issued for possession of an alcoholic beverage by an underage person. It's important to note that the law does not authorize an arrest, but a summons.
The statute provides that the criminal court can impose a maximum amount of community service which may not exceed 30 hours. The offense is generally considered to be "civil" and the traditional forms of "conditional discharge" are not generally permitted.
Under New York Alcohol Beverage Control Law § 65-N: NY Code - Section 65-B, it is unlawful for a person under twenty-one years of age to purchase alcohol or attempt to purchase alcohol under fraudulent means. This includes the use of identification cards (driver's license or other valid identification card) to purchase alcohol that display a false age, is fraudulent, or is not actually his or her own.
First time offenders may be given a fine of up to 100 hours and community service of up to 30 hours. The court may also require the completion of an alcohol awareness program.
Second time offenders may be given a fine between 50 and 300 dollars. He or she may also be required to complete up to 30 hours of community service. The court will order the completion of an alcohol awareness program if the offender has not previously completed one, unless the court determines that attendance is not feasible due to lack of a reasonably close program.
Third and subsequent offenders are required to pay a fine between 50 and 700 dollars and/or community service of up to 30 hours. The court will also order the offender to submit to an evaluation by an appropriate agency certified or licensed by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. This is done in order to determine if the offender suffers from alcoholism or alcohol abuse. The court relies on the record to determine whether or not such an evaluation is necessary.
Payment for the evaluation is made by the offender. If the evaluation shows that treatment is necessary, the offender may electively volunteer to participate. If the offender participates in the recommended treatment, the court will suspend payment of the fine and community service until the treatment's completion.
Additionally, the court may order that the driver's license of the offender be suspended for a set period of time. The length of the suspension can range from 3 months to the time the offender turns 21. This depends on the frequency that the offense of using a fraudulent ID to purchase alcohol was committed previously.
It is unlawful to provide alcohol to a youth under the age of 21 under Penal Law § 260.20 (Unlawful dealing with a child in the first degree). This includes selling, giving alcohol to the minor, or causing alcohol to be given to a minor. Providing alcohol to a minor is considered a Class A misdemeanor offense.
However, there are certain exceptions to the law. It does not apply to the parent or guardian of a minor. The law also does not apply to a student in a curriculum that is licensed or registered by the New York Department of Education where tasting or consuming alcohol is required (as long as the alcohol is provided for instructional purposes during class as part of the curriculum).
Additionally, New York laws also address a child under the age of 16 being present in an establishment where alcohol is provided. This is against the law (Penal Law § 260.21(1)(a) - Unlawfully dealing with a child in the 2nd degree). Exceptions exist if the child is present with his or her parent or guardian.
Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner | Minor in Possession of Alcohol Arrest in Queens, NY
Seek the help of experienced Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner to learn more about New York underage possession of alcohol penalties and defenses. Your academic career is important to you and any loved ones who are contributing to your education.
Rochelle Berliner grew up in Queens, NY. She started New York Law School in January 1989 and graduated in June 1991. Immediately after law school, she started working at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for approximately 14 years...
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