A Drunk in Public Ticket Could Ruin Your Night, and Your Record
The Tidewater region is often filled with celebrating tourists and college students. Many of these celebrations involve alcohol, and for some, they sometimes do go south. Unfortunately, tourists, college students, and Hampton Roads residents alike can fall victim to a Drunk in Public /Public Intoxication or Underage Possession, Purchase, or Consumption of Alcohol violation. When that happens, it’s important to consult an experienced Hampton Roads defense attorney to determine the best way to defend against the charge.
The charge of Drunk in Public /Public Intoxication is a Class 4 Misdemeanor, and it carries with it a maximum fine of $250. If you are charged with Drunk in Public/Public Intoxication and you simply prepay the fine, you are admitting guilt, and the conviction will appear on your criminal record. A defense attorney who is familiar with court procedures in the city where you are charged may be able to reduce your fine or get the violation dismissed altogether.
A charge of Underage Possession, Purchase, or Consumption of Alcohol in Virginia is a more serious charge – a Class 1 Misdemeanor with a punishment of up to 12 months in jail and a $2500 fine. A person who is convicted of Underage Possession, Purchase, or Consumption of Alcohol also faces a mandatory minimum $500 fine, the imposition of community service hours, and a potential driver’s license suspension. We frequently work with high school and college students and their parents on this crime (and many other drug and alcohol charges). For them, the most critical aspect is usually keeping this off the student’s permanent criminal record. Our defense attorneys understand how to work with students to keep their record clear and their future protected.
Another common alcohol-related charge is the Virginia DUI. This area of law is extremely technical, and dui defenses exist that most people have never heard of. Again, it pays to hire a Virginia Beach DUI Attorney who knows DUI law, and is well-versed in handling the various available defenses.
Virginia law enforcement officials take Underage Possession, Purchase, and Consumption of Alcohol seriously, but you do have options if you or your child has been so charged. Depending on the facts unique to your case, if you are charged with a first offense under this statute, you may be eligible for a “first offender” deferment of a finding of guilt, meaning that the charge will be dismissed if you remain of good behavior and meet other requirements imposed by the court. Note however, that every case is different, and first you will need to talk to an experienced Hampton Roads defense attorney in order to navigate the court proceedings in Underage Possession, Purchase, or Consumption of Alcohol cases.