New Jersey Underage Drinking Attorney
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15 Lawyers
For high school and college students, access to alcohol is fairly easy. However, if you are caught and charged while in possession or consuming alcohol and you are under the legal age (21), you will be facing serious criminal charges. Whether your charges occur in Seaside Heights, Holmdel’s PNC Bank Arts Center, Atlantic City, TCNJ, or Hoboken, the penalties are the same. You are facing up to 6 months in jail, fines, possible license suspension and even alcohol education treatment. Underage drinking is a very common criminal charge issued in New Jersey. If you are convicted of the disorderly persons offense for Underage Drinking, you will be saddled with a criminal record at a time when employers and schools are cautious to hire or admit anyone with less than an immaculate history. Call to speak with any attorney today at (732) 858-5857 and find out what can be done to fight your charges and keep your criminal record clear of any criminal charges for the foreseeable future. We are available 24/7 for your convenience.
New Jersey Law for Underage Drinking
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15, “Any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who knowingly possesses without legal authority or who knowingly consumes any alcoholic beverage in any school, public conveyance, public place, or place of public assembly, or motor vehicle, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense, and shall be fined not less than $500.00.”
Can My Driver’s License Be Suspended for Underage Drinking?
If the underlying charges occurred while you were in a motor vehicle, then in addition to any sentence imposed by the judge, your driver’s license must be suspended for a period of six (6) months. For those individuals who are under 17 years old, the license suspension will be postponed so that it does not begin until you reach 17 years of age and you become eligible to apply for a driver’s license.
I Was Charged with Underage Drinking in NJ But I Live Out-of-State
If you are not a New Jersey resident but are charged while here on vacation, visiting or otherwise, the Court may will still suspend your driving privileges with respect to this State. Eventually the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission will submit a report of the suspension of your New Jersey driving privileges to your home state and you may be subject to further suspension.
Defenses to Underage Drinking
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15(f), “an underage person and one or two other persons shall be immune from prosecution under this section if:
- One of the underage persons called 9-1-1 and reported that another underage person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption;
- The underage person who called 9-1-1 and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who called 9-1-1 provided each of their names to the 9-1-1 operator;
- The underage person was the first person to make the 9-1-1 report; and
- The underage person and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who made the 9-1-1 call remained on the scene with the person under the legal age in need of medical assistance until assistance arrived and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel on the scene.”
Our firm has successfully raised this defense on behalf of clients at trial. For more information, call our offices at (732) 858-5857.
Holmdel NJ Lawyer for Underage Drinking N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15
If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with underage consumption of alcohol or underage possession of alcohol under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15, we can help. Our former Deputy Attorney General with the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control has spent part of his career prosecuting similar cases on behalf of the State. Allow him to put this experience to work for you in your case. We can be reached 24/7 at (732) 858-5857. Call today and schedule your free initial consultation.