Underage drinking charges can have serious consequences on a teenager or young adult’s life. In addition to possible fines, driver license suspensions, and jail time, these charges may also have academic repercussions.

In some cases, a defendant charged with underage consumption may have grounds for avoiding being charged. This is where we may be able to help. If you are facing underage consumption charges, a McKinney underage consumption lawyer from Underwood Law Office may be able to defend your case.

Our offices can be reached at (972) 535-6377. Please call today for a free case evaluation and to learn more about our services.

Punishments for Underage Consumption or Possession

You may face a variety of charges for the underage consumption or possession of alcohol, based on the specifics of your case. The charges you face—as well as the penalties and sentences that the court may seek to pass against you—may also depend on the severity of any injuries, damages, or wanton disregard for others tied to your underage consumption case.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), a minor in possession of alcohol may face, upon their first offense:

For a third minor in possession offense, the fee may increase up to $2,000, and you may face 180 days in jail.

Per Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.041, operating a vehicle or a watercraft under the influence of alcohol as a minor is a Class C misdemeanor. This charge is referred to as DUI. Any amount of measurable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can trigger this charge, which may include a $500 fine or 2-month driver license suspension.

For minors charged with their third DUI, penalties may increase to a fine of up to $2,000 and/or jail time of up to 6 months.

Academic Consequences

If you are enrolled in a college or university, underage consumption charges may have academic consequences as well. Depending on the school’s policy for underage drinking, there may be consequences regarding:

Furthermore, an underage consumption charge may stay on your record and may become an impediment to landing work or employment.

Fighting an Underage Consumption Charge

With all of the above in mind, underage consumption is a serious issue, and you can face serious fines, penalties, and other long-term negative consequences if you are convicted of an underage consumption charge.

There are many ways that Underwood Law Office may be able to help you fight an underage consumption charge. Depending on the case, our defenses for this type of charge may include:

When Underage Consumption May Not Be Penalized

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.04 allows underage consumption as long as the consumption occurs within the parent’s presence.

If it can be shown that underage consumption occurred at home and with parental consent and with the supervision of a parent who owns, leases, or controls a property, a minor may have a defense against underage consumption charges.

Otherwise, if someone was guilty of underage consumption but reported the underage drinking of another minor who needed medical assistance and stayed with the other minor until the authorities arrived, and he or she also cooperated with the authorities, then he or she may be able to avoid being charged with underage consumption.

Other Defenses

Finally, you may be able to contest the charges that are brought against you by:

A McKinney underage consumption lawyer from Underwood Law Office may be able to design a strategy for your legal defense when we represent you. We may be able to get your charges dropped or, if this is not possible, try to have your charges or penalties reduced.

For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377.

Understanding the Underage Drinking Problem

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that underage alcohol consumption is a serious public health issue that causes over 3,500 fatalities every year. It has been linked to many serious child and adolescent problems, such as high rates of school absence, poor grades, and social and legal issues such as fights and physical assault. Underage consumption can also lead to physical illnesses, unsafe sex, and an increased risk of suicide.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the United States Congress, recognizing the dangers of underage consumption, passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1984. This act established 21 as the minimum legal age for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.

Call Underwood Law Office Today

You do not need to face underage consumption charges alone. A McKinney underage consumption lawyer from Underwood Law Office may be able to defend you at all stages of our case. We can walk you through what you need to know regarding your defense and can help gather evidence and represent you in court to try to reduce your charges or absolve you of guilt.

For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377.

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