The District of Columbia underage alcohol related offense generally falls under one of these two categories:
- Underage possession
- Underage misrepresentation
UNDERAGE POSSESSION, PURCHASE AND CONSUMPTION
The Statute prohibits any form of possession, purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages. This includes possession and consumption in both private and public space.
Generally charges in this section stem from law enforcement responding to off campus or a private home parties for possible noise violation and finding minors in possession or consuming alcohol.
Violation of this section is considered a civil violation and not a criminal one and for punishable by fines and suspension of the driving privileges.
- First offense $300 fine/60 days suspension;
- Second offense $600 fine/180days of suspension;
- Third and subsequent offense $1000 fines/one year suspension.
Diversion program is also available in lieu of imposing fines and suspension for the first and second offender. The program usually entails completing community service and smaller fines.
MISREPRESENTATION OF AGE
The Statute prohibits:
Falsely representing age either orally or by presenting a fake, manufactured or falsified identification card in order to:
- Purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverage,
- Or to again entry into a licensed bar or establishment.
The law enforcement undercover agents usually monitor a line for entry to an establishment and target individuals that appear to be underage.
This effort is coordinated through the bouncers and door staff of the establishment and upon presenting the fake identification card the arrest team moves in.
Violating of this section is considered a misdemeanor and punishable by fines and suspension of the driving privileges.
- The first offense carries fines of up to $300, and suspension of the driving privileges up to 90 days.
- Second offense $600 fines/190 days of suspension.
- Third and subsequent offense, $1000/suspension of the driving privileges up to one year.
First and second time offender are usually afforded a diversion program. The program offers 16 or more hours of community service and up to $200 in fines in lieu of dismissal of the charges.
Any minor misdemeanor, felony or other previous conviction usually rescinds or voids offer of diversion.
The Statute also allows expungement of the arrest and even conviction upon petitioning the Court six months after the dismissal of the charge.
Petitioner usually seeks an order to expunge all records relating to the arrest, information, trial and the conviction.
The court shall grant the petition to expunge if the individual has no pending charges and has no prior felony or misdemeanor convictions.
The effect of the expungement is to restore the individual as if the charges were never launched. In short, the expungement order shall lawfully restore the individual to the status he or she occupied before the arrest.
Upon granting of the expungement, one may state that they have never been charged or arrested unless the application is for a position in a law enforcement field.
Drinking in public or possessing an open container of alcohol regardless of age in the District is also considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days of incarceration.
The District underage drinking as well as misrepresentation of age laws are severe and can have a lasting impact on your professional career.
Contact our DC fake Id lawyer or DC misrepresentation of age lawyer to schedule a thorough case analysis or evaluation.
Our DC Criminal lawyer specialized in DC underage possession of alcoholic beverages can seek either outright dismissal of the case or dismissal via diversion program.
CONTRIBUTING TO DELINQUENCY OF A MINOR
- School truancy;
- Possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substance;
- To run away from home to engage in criminal activity or conduct;
- To violate a court order;
- To violate any other criminal law considered to be a misdemeanor;or
- To engage with and join a criminal street gang.
Penalties for violation of this section range between 6 months for first offense and significantly more 3-10 years of incarceration for the subsequent offenses.
Contact our Washington DC Criminal Lawyer to schedule your initial case evaluation and analysis.