My Underage Child Was Caught With Alcohol, Now What?
July 24, 2019
Ohio has strict penalties for underage individuals caught with alcohol. If you are underage and charged with alcohol possession or if you are the parent of a minor in this unenviable position, it is imperative you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Fail to secure legal representation and the state of Ohio will come down hard on you or your child.
The Consequences for Underage Drinking in Ohio
The violation of one or several minor in possession laws will be adjudicated in juvenile court. It is possible for such a violation to be deemed a criminal offense. If it is the minor’s first offense, the presiding judge might choose to delay his or her ruling so the minor can partake in a diversion program. The successful completion of the diversion program has the potential to result in the judge’s dismissal of the complaint as well as the sealing of the minor’s record. If the minor is a repeat offender, the judge will issue the appropriate fines and possibly apply penalty for underage drinking.
A minor caught consuming, possessing, or being intoxicated by alcohol without his or her parent’s consent and outside of that parent’s supervision will be charged with underage drinking. Ohio minors convicted of underage drinking face a number of potential penalties ranging from a fine to required enrollment in a drug and alcohol diversion program and the suspension of his or her driver’s license or learner’s permit. It is also possible the minor will be charged with OVUAC. This acronym is short for operating a vehicle after underage consumption. Such a charge can be levied if the minor’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) is between 0.02 and 0.08. If the minor’s BAC is higher than 0.08, he or she will be charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, also known as OVI.
Why You Need an Attorney on Your Side
Do not make the mistake of shrugging off this legal misstep as something most minors do in good fun. Though plenty of minors in Toledo and beyond will consume alcohol, such consumption has the potential to prove deadly for the minor as well as others in the Toledo community if not done under the direct supervision of a parent. The stakes are high as your child’s future and life are at stake.
If you do not find the right attorney to represent you or your child in and out of a court of law, the penalties detailed above are almost certain to apply. This is not the type of legal quandary you can wiggle out of on your own. You need a highly strategic legal defense custom-tailored to the idiosyncrasies of your unique case.
Examples of Defenses to Minor in Possession Charges
The circumstances of your unique case dictate the appropriate legal strategy. A number of defenses to Minor in Possession charges have the potential to prove successful. As an example, it is possible to successfully argue the minor in question possessed an empty container void of alcohol. If the prosecutor cannot prove the container had alcohol, the odds are against a conviction and subsequent penalty. It is also possible to argue the alcohol was enjoyed as a component of a religious ritual. Furthermore, if the alcohol was consumed under the direct supervision of a parent or in a geographic location such as Canada where the legal age for alcohol consumption is merely 19, your child might avoid penalty for underage drinking.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
You need a savvy attorney on your side to determine the optimal legal defense for your specific case to avoid the consequences of underage drinking in Ohio. Our legal team has successfully handled a number of minor in possession cases with diverse defenses. This is the expert legal representation necessary to clear your name and pave the way for a successful future. Reach out to us today to schedule an initial consultation.