Is your child facing a criminal charge related to alcohol? Do not assume that they will only receive a slap on the wrist. The court does not always take a sympathetic view on the foolish actions of minors. As a matter of fact, a juvenile alcohol crime conviction can result in significant penalties, including a permanent criminal record. So it is of utmost importance that you consult with an experienced southern California juvenile crime defense attorney as soon as possible.
Contact The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann today and let our veteran lawyers fight to secure your child's rights with reduced or dropped charges along with a clean record. We strongly believe that every child deserves to enter adulthood without having to pay for past mistakes. That is why we'll do everything we can to favorably resolve your child's criminal case. To learn more about your child's legal options in a free, comprehensive consultation, call (888) 744-7730.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol
California's Business and Professions Code 25662 prohibits minors under 21 from possessing an alcoholic beverage in a public place. Notice how the law specifically makes mention of "a public place." Technically, a minor can legally be in possession of alcohol in a private residence (though any present adults could be committing a violation), but as soon as they step into a public space with alcohol, they can be charged with this crime.
A conviction of this crime (which is treated as a misdemeanor) can result in community service and/or a fine, along with a permanent criminal record. In order to prevent such an outcome, your attorney may employ the following defenses:
- The alcohol was not actually in the minor's possession (it was someone else's);
- The minor was delivering the alcohol for a boss/parent/guardian;
- The alcohol was discovered during an illegal search and seizure; or
- The minor gained immunity from criminal prosecution for acting responsibly (Business and Professions Code 25667).
Underage Consumption of Alcohol
A minor who consumes alcohol in a private residence does not necessarily commit a crime. However, if a minor is outside of a private residence and impaired, they may be susceptible to arrest for the following charges, depending on the circumstances:
- Penal Code 647(f): Public drunkenness
- Vehicle Code 23224: Possession of an open alcoholic beverage in a vehicle
- Vehicle Code 23136 and 23140: Driving with any amount of blood alcohol content (BAC) or a BAC of 0.05 to 0.07 percent, respectively
- Vehicle Code 23152(a): Driving under the influence of alcohol
Possible penalties for these offenses include fines, probation, license suspension and even jail time.
Providing Alcohol to a Minor
Minor alcohol laws in California do not just make it illegal for minors to consume or possess alcohol in a public space. They also make it illegal for adults to provide alcohol to minors under certain circumstances.
According to Business and Professions Code 25658.2, if you are a parent or legal guardian, you may be charged with a misdemeanor crime if all of the following occur:
- You permit a child under 18 to consume an alcoholic beverage in your private residence;
- You let them drive with a BAC of 0.05 percent or greater; and
- The child or underage individual causes a traffic accident.
According to Business and Professions Code 25658, if you are a business owner, you cannot:
- Give or sell alcohol to minors, or
- Allow minors to consume alcohol on the premises of your business. If convicted of either of these crimes, you could face a jail sentence along with an exorbitant fine numbering in the thousands of dollars.
Reliable Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California
Whether your child has been charged with an alcohol offense, or you have been charged with illegally providing alcohol to a minor, reach out to the reliable criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann to get the quality legal representation you need to secure your freedom and your future.