While many view underage drinking as a right of passage, underage drinking is a crime in Illinois that is not taken lightly. Being charged with a crime as a juvenile can be a very scary experience, both for the alleged juvenile offender and the offender’s parents. Suppose you are a minor who has been arrested for underage drinking, or you are the parent of a minor who was arrested for allegedly drinking alcohol. In that case, it is essential to understand the potential penalties for underage drinking and how a criminal defense attorney can greatly assist the juvenile at this time.
What Are the Penalties for Underage Drinking?
As is true in many other parts of the country, Illinois takes underage drinking very seriously. If a minor, who is someone younger than 21, is caught possessing, consuming, or purchasing alcohol, they may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This can be punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine reaching as high as $2,500. To make the matter even more severe, minors may have their license suspended for up to six months, regardless of whether they are operating a vehicle at the time. Minors should also think twice before using fake identification, as doing so may constitute the felony offense of possessing a fraudulent ID card.
What is the Social Host Law?
This refers to legislation in Illinois that holds individuals responsible for allowing underage drinking to take place on their property. It aims to discourage adults from promoting underage drinking by imposing penalties on them if a minor gets caught consuming alcohol on their property. If convicted under the Social Host Law, penalties could result in fines or even jail time, making it essential for adults to take the law seriously and never condone underage drinking.
What Should a Minor Do if They Are Caught and Arrested for Drinking Underage?
In this situation, like with any arrest scenario, it is best to stay calm and not resist arrest. Request an attorney and do not speak with the police. The more you say, the deeper you are digging a hole for yourself. There is a chance that the police may try to get you to slip up and say something incriminating. However, it is crucial you stay silent and resist any urge you may have to tell your side of the story regarding whatever happened.
Contact a Will County Juvenile Defense Attorney
If you are in need of legal representation related to a juvenile offense, contact the esteemed DuPage County juvenile defense lawyer with [[title]].Call [[phone]] for a free consultation.