What should I plea if charged with underage consumption?

UPDATED: Oct 17, 2011

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What should I plea if charged with underage consumption?

My buddy and I were pulled over and I was in the passengers seat. After questioning my friend and arresting him, he asked me to get out of the car and asked me if I had anything to drink. I wasn’t really sure what to do so I just told him the truth, that I had a couple of drinks. He did the eye test on me and didn’t tell me if I passed or not. He did not breathalyze me but then proceeded to place me under arrest. Should I speak with a criminal law attorney? I’m in Warren County, OH.

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Criminal Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Underage consumption is a first-degree misdemeanors in your state. A conviction carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and may also result in a criminal record. If you are convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor, you may have to answer "yes" if asked "Were you ever convicted of a crime?" on an application for a job, graduate school, or professional license.

Even if you are guilty of underage consumption, a plea bargain or pretrial diversion program may enable you to avoid being tagged with a criminal conviction. And if the case is resolved without a conviction, a defense lawyer may be able to seal your arrest record so you would not need to disclose it on job applications, etc. According you should speak directly with a criminal law attorney in your area that handles these type cases.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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