In the state of Florida, it is unlawful for individuals under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcoholic beverages. In fact, police or other agencies may attempt to catch as many who are underage as possible by setting up sting operations at locations including college events or night clubs that allow the admission of individuals older than 18 years of age. If you are one of the unlucky ones who is arrested for possessing alcohol, you could face criminal charges and even a criminal record that will last a lifetime. At Adams & Luka, we are highly familiar with the tactics used by law enforcement in an effort to "catch" underage drinkers. We provide an aggressive and effective defense for those in Orlando and surrounding areas, bringing an enormous amount of experience and skill to the table for our clients.
The mere possession of an alcoholic beverage constitutes underage drinking in the state of Florida. This offense is a second-degree misdemeanor, and will leave those convicted facing jail time in addition to other penalties. If you are someone younger than 21 who has been accused of underage drinking, or if you are the parent of a child who has been arrested or charged with this offense, we urge you to contact our Orlando juvenile defense lawyers today.Criminal Penalties for Charges of Underage Drinking in Florida
Depending on the details of your case, a conviction for underage drinking can lead to serious and life-changing penalties. While jail time, fines, and other punishment may affect your life, it is also possible your reputation and career may be impacted. In addition, you may be unable to drive for months or even longer. Our Orlando underage drinking lawyers are committed to providing the legal guidance essential to reaching the best possible result in your case. We want you to know that we will work diligently to protect you against serious penalties which may include:
As you can see, the penalties for a first-time offender are harsh. Additionally, if you are convicted of underage drinking a second time, you may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor offense. This may result in a maximum of one year in jail, the maximum imprisonment term for those found guilty of misdemeanor offenses. A criminal record may impact employment, education opportunities, or even result in suspension or expulsion from a college/university or student housing.
Underage drinking includes the possession of any beverage with a container labeled as wine, beer, malt liquor/beverage, or distilled spirits. Any mixed drink that contains 1/2 of 1% alcohol by volume may result in charges of underage drinking.Defenses to Charges of Underage Drinking in Orlando & Central Florida
There are certain pretrial and trial defenses that may be effective in any criminal case, however the most common defenses to allegations of underage drinking include:
Constructive possession may be an effective defense if the alcohol was discovered in a location in which more than one person had access. You may also be employed in a capacity that causes you to be in possession of alcoholic beverages in the scope of your employment. Additionally, less than 1/2 percent alcohol by volume does not constitute underage drinking.Contact Adams & Luka Now
At Adams & Luka, our Orlando underage drinking lawyers understand that there are many situations in which a person who is underage may be in possession of alcohol legally. We also understand how prosecutors work, and the tactics they use to secure a guilty verdict. Our top priority is to protect clients from a conviction, and the resulting penalties. We work diligently to secure your desired outcome, and provide you with skilled legal guidance. Contact us now for a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.