If I left a party because there were minors drinking and 3 hours later the cops came, can I still get into trouble?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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If I left a party because there were minors drinking and 3 hours later the cops came, can I still get into trouble?

My friends were charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor. Since I left, can I still get in trouble?

Asked on August 11, 2015 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Were you furnishing alcohal to minors? If so, then yes, you could face criminal liability. If not, you should be safe...or at least, that's the law. Practically, if one or more of your friends elects to testify against you in exchange for reduced charges or some other consideration (e.g. a friends testifies, "it was all Bob's idea, and Bob was the one who bought the alcohol and started serving it to minors"), then even if you  are innocent, you could be arrested or charged, and would have to be able to show that your friend(s) are wrong or lying (or at least undercut their testimony enough that it is not strong enough to convict you "beyond a reasonable doubt"). Having left before the raid/arrest does not necessarily protect you, though certainly it may be a fact or evidence in your favor.

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