When a child is under 21, they do not have the right to drink alcohol in most circumstances. An offense can lead to trouble with the law and harsh penalties. On top of that, your child’s school may place them on suspension or even expel them. If they’re in college, the school could stop them from receiving certain scholarships or remove them from some programs that they are involved in.
As a parent, finding out that your child was drinking under the age of 21 may not be surprising . After all, kids make mistakes. However, you know that you have to take steps to minimize the damage. Here’s a little more about what you should know.
Underage convictions can carry harsh penalties
Those who have purchased or consumed alcohol while under 21 face fines of up to $500 for a first offense or up to $1,000 for a second offense. If your child also had a fake ID that they used to purchase of alcohol, then they face up to two years in prison as well as a fine of up to $500.
For those convicted of driving while impaired, fines, possible jail sentences and the loss of their license are normal penalties.
Are there ways to mitigate the damage to a minor’s reputation and record?
There may be. Most people understand that minors make mistakes. They’re young, and they may have gotten caught up in the moment. Your attorney will speak to you about any alternative programs that are in place that could help your child avoid a conviction as well as possible defenses your child may present.