License Suspension for Underage Drinking in NJ
Underage Possession of Alcohol (Underage Drinking) law in New Jersey can be a confusing statute for both parents and their sons/daughters facing this charge. It is common knowledge that DWI and DUI offenses can carry a loss of driving privileges, since it inherently involves the operation of a motor vehicles, but many people are shocked to learn that Underage Possession of Alcohol carries a six (6) month loss of driving privileges upon a conviction or plea of guilty.
Not only that, but Underage Drinking under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15 is a Disorderly Persons offense (what other states would refer to as a “misdemeanor”), and appears on a defendant’s criminal record. Fines can be up to $1000, and community service can be imposed at the judge’s discretion.
For many of our clients that received this charge in college, having a criminal record when they entered the job market after graduating was their biggest fear — a conviction of a disorderly persons offense cannot be expunged from a record sooner than five years from the date of disposition. We have years of success in defending these charges, avoiding a license suspension, and preventing our clients from having a criminal record.
NJ Lawyers for Underage Drinking Charges
Quite often, our lawyers represent college students at Municipal Courts in Ewing, South Orange, Newark, Glassboro, Princeton, West Long Branch, and New Brunswick, among others. We also have been the lawyers for Underage Drinking charges in Belmar, Point Pleasant, Atlantic City, Lake Como, Spring Lake, and other shore towns. In each case, whether it be for Seton Hall, Rutgers, TCNJ, Rowan, or Rider, our experienced attorneys work to downgrade (amend) the Underage Drinking charge to something non-criminal, such as a local ordinance fine, and avoid a loss of license and criminal record as a possible penalty.
If you or someone close to you has been charged with Underage Possession or Consumption of Alcohol in New Jersey, call our office to speak with a criminal defense attorney experienced in these types of charges. We’re available 24/7 for a free consultation – 1 (877) 450-8301.
Statute for Underage Possession of Alcohol / Underage Drinking (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15)
§ 2C:33-15. Possession, consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under legal age; penalty
a. Any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who knowingly possesses without legal authority or who knowingly consumes any alcoholic beverage in any school, public conveyance, public place, or place of public assembly, or motor vehicle, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense, and shall be fined not less than $ 500.00.
b. Whenever this offense is committed in a motor vehicle, the court shall, in addition to the sentence authorized for the offense, suspend or postpone for six months the driving privilege of the defendant.
. . .
c. In addition to the general penalty prescribed for a disorderly persons offense, the court may require any person who violates this act to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program, authorized by the Department of Health and Senior Services, for a period not to exceed the maximum period of confinement prescribed by law for the offense for which the individual has been convicted.
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