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With so many college students in the area, Columbus police seem to cite people for more drinking related offenses than anything else. While some offenses, like disorderly conduct or open container violations, are minor misdemeanors, the most common offense among young people, underage drinking, is actually a first-degree misdemeanor that will get you a criminal record.
Along with the arrest staying on your record, a conviction for underage drinking in Columbus can lead to a sentence that includes up to 6 months in jail, up to $1000 fine, court costs, a driver’s license suspension, probation, community service, alcohol assessment, and required completion of a recommended alcohol treatment program. Even worse, if you are a student at Ohio State or any other local university, you may face harsh penalties on campus as well.
If you consume or possess alcohol under the age of 21, you could find yourself facing serious consequences. Even on game day or at concerts and other events where people enjoy consuming alcohol, underage drinking laws tend to be strictly enforced, so it’s important to recognize the risk you take drinking before you are of age. If you are arrested, your future could be put at risk, so if you have been charged with underage drinking, don’t take the charges lightly,
Just because many young people are charged with underage drinking does not mean that you have a defense against the charges. Luckily, though, you can fight the charges with the help of an experienced Columbus criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to look at the facts of the case and determine if the prosecution has enough evidence to make the charges stick. If not, the charges may be able to be dismissed or at least reduced.
Even if the case is supported by significant evidence, a good Columbus defense attorney will work to get you accepted into a diversion program. After you successfully complete a diversion program, your case is dismissed without a conviction. This means that you never formally have a record, and any court and police records for the case can be sealed from public view.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we believe that no minor lapse in judgment during your youth should follow you throughout the rest of your life. An underage drinking arrest should not be the end of the world with the right defense. If you have been arrested call our team of skilled Columbus criminal defense lawyers today at for a free consultation on your case. Find out how we may be able to help.