So I was charged with underage consumption, can I have it dismissed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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So I was charged with underage consumption, can I have it dismissed?

I’m here on vacation and was charged
with underage consumption. I was on
the beach and was being ‘buligerant to
the police’ and ‘smelt like alcohol’, my
eyes were ‘glazed’, they ‘knew’ I was
intoxicated. I told them I didn’t drink
anything or used any drugs, I was
detained and brought into the station
and charged with underage
consumption, I didn’t have my id with
me or any form of if. I had 2 unopened
beers in my backpack. The paper they
also gave me to appear in court with I
want asked to sign or anything. I also
refused to the breathalyzer. I’m
currently on probation so I would be
thankful if this could get dismissed.

Asked on July 6, 2016 under Criminal Law, Virginia


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you have described, it will be easy for the state to prove underage consumption and minor in possession-- if you are under age.  If you are not under age, then this will be an easy dismissal for these two charges.  However, they could change the charge to public intoxication or disorderly conduct.
Underage consumption and MIP are "ticket" offenses, which means that you didn't have to sign anything for the charge to stick.  The fact that you refused the breathalyzer doesn't negate the charges either. 
The only way for you to get the charges thrown out is to prove that the initial detention was illegal.  The initial detention is the reason they approached you to begin with.  If this initial approach was illegal, then any evidence obtained afterwards could be thrown out.  You will need to visit with a defense attorney, go over those initial facts, and see if there is a loop hole for you could utilize.  Making these types of pre-trial challenges are a little more time consuming and expensive, but if you are facing a potential revocation of another criminal case, then it may be worth the effort.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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