Most teenagers come to Florida for spring break with the intention of having fun with friends. But they often end up getting caught for underage drinking. A case of underage possession of alcohol is classed as a second-degree misdemeanor, and the punishments include spending up to sixty days in jail and receiving a fine, as stated in Florida Statute 562.111.
At the time that you were caught, you were probably given a piece of paperwork from a police officer, a sheriff’s deputy, or someone from the Florida Alcohol and Tobacco Office. The paperwork will enable you to pay the fine, which will usually end up being between the amounts of $200 to $300. After you have paid the fine, you will have a criminal record.
It is important to know that it is illegal for anyone who is under the age of 21 to possess or purchase alcohol in all fifty states of America. If you are under the age of 21 and you received a criminal notice from a police officer to appear in court for underage possession of alcohol, then you will need a skilled criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place to handle your case. With over seventy-five years of combined experience, The Law Place has a strong team of highly trained lawyers who have the necessary knowledge and experience to fight your charges in Bradenton.
We know that it can seem frightening or intimidating when you receive a criminal notice for the first time. This is why we highly recommend that you speak to one of our professional lawyers who can give you some honest advice on the best move to make in your situation. We will discuss the possible options and legal defenses that we could use for your case. We will always try to reduce your charges or possibly even get the case dismissed entirely. If the charges are dropped, then this will mean that the underage possession of alcohol charge will not appear on your criminal record.
Facts About Alcohol in Bradenton, FL.
It is common knowledge that it is illegal in all states of America for a minor or anyone below the age of 21 to possess or even purchase alcohol. There are a few other facts that you must know when it comes to the law surrounding alcohol in Bradenton and throughout Florida:
- The legal age to possess or purchase alcohol is 21 years of age in the State of Florida.
- Under no circumstances are parents allowed to give alcohol to their children, not even in their personal homes or at a hotel or restaurant.
- Teenagers who are UNDER the age of 18 and have been hired to work at a business, such as a restaurant or a hotel, are not allowed to sell or serve alcohol.
- Teenagers who are OVER the age of 18 years, and have been hired to work at a business, such as a restaurant or a hotel, are allowed to sell and serve alcohol in line with the law in Bradenton and the State of Florida.
- It is illegal for anyone in the state of Florida to make and use a fake ID to purchase alcohol. If a security guard or bartender at a nightclub, bar, restaurant, or hotel recognizes a fake ID, then they can refuse the sale of alcohol. They are also required to call the police.
- It is illegal to sell and serve alcohol to a minor anywhere in the State of Florida. If this situation occurs, it could result in a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by spending up to sixty days in jail and receiving a large fine.
If your daughter or son is facing an underage possession of alcohol charge in Bradenton, then we highly recommend that you reach out and call a skilled criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place to fight your case. Contact us now for a free consultation.
Penalties for Underage Possession of Alcohol in Bradenton, FL.
If anyone under the age of 21 years, including a minor or a juvenile, were caught purchasing or in possession of alcohol, then this is recognized as a second-degree misdemeanor, as outlined in Florida Statute 562.111.
Underage possession of alcohol is a serious criminal offense, and the punishments include receiving a fine of up to $500 facing a jail sentence of up to sixty days or six months of probation.
However, if someone under the age of 21 is caught underage drinking and commits a second or third offense, then it could potentially be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. The punishments include receiving a fine of up to $1,000 and facing up to one year maximum in jail or twelve months of probation.
In the State of Florida, the conviction of someone under the age of 21 who was caught in possession of alcohol will ultimately result in the loss of their driver’s license for between six to twelve months, as stated in Florida Statute 322.055. Furthermore, if the same person ends up committing a second or third offense, then the driver’s license ban will increase by two years.
However, the court might be able to authorize a hardship driver’s license to be issued from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) if the convicted person is qualified to receive such a license.
Use of Fake IDs to Possess Alcohol in Bradenton, FL.
In the State of Florida, it is illegal for anyone to obtain and use a forged, borrowed, or stolen ID card or someone else’s driver’s license in an effort to try and purchase or possess alcohol, as stated in Florida Statute 322.212. This is considered a serious criminal offense. In other words, it is breaking the law, and it will result in a third-degree felony charge. If a person hands over a fake ID to someone else who is under the age of 21, then that person will be charged and sent to court.
For usage of a fake ID, the punishments include:
- Paying a fine of up to $5,000.
- A prison sentence of up to five years.
If you were caught forging or using a fake ID, or even providing someone else’s identification in an attempt to purchase or possess alcohol, then this is against the law in Bradenton. You will be facing serious consequences for this crime.
Defenses to Underage Drinking in Bradenton, FL.
A highly trained lawyer from The Law Place has the necessary skills and accomplishments to contest a charge of underage drinking in Bradenton. The defenses that a lawyer can utilize are most likely to be factual or legal, depending on your specific case. For example:
- The person had a lack of awareness that the beverage contained alcohol.
- The prosecutor is unable to prove and make a case that the beverage was, in fact, alcoholic.
- The lawyer can argue that the beverage could have possibly been non-alcoholic.
- A lack of proof of knowledge.
- The police officer failed to preserve the evidence, and it was destroyed.
- The police officer failed to read Miranda warnings, a suppression of incriminating statements.
- Someone else improperly induced and provoked the person in question to possess or consume the alcoholic beverage. Also known as entrapment.
- The lawyer can argue that the person in question was only holding a drink for a friend, and they were unaware of the alcoholic content.
- The police officer lacked evidence to accuse the person of underage drinking and had no probable cause or warranted reason to believe that the person was underage.
- The absence of a search warrant or other legal justification to enter and investigate the grounds or property where the person was caught underage drinking.
In most underage possession of alcohol cases, a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer knows that the person in question is usually not aware that the beverage actually contained alcohol. Most cases like this tend to occur when a person is asked to hold a drink for someone else in either a party or club setting. A skilled lawyer can argue that the person was clearly not aware that the beverage contained alcohol in court.
If you have been accused of underage possession of alcohol, then is it essential for you to reach out and contact The Law Place to manage your case. We can offer you a free consultation today. One of our experienced lawyers will explain the legal process and the best defense strategy that could be used to fight your case in court.
Contact The Law Place in Bradenton
If you and a group of friends came to Florida for spring break, and you ended up getting caught in possession of alcohol, then most likely, you were given a criminal notice for drinking under the age of 21.
The Law Place has over seventy-five years of collective experience in helping clients achieve a reasonable outcome for their underage possession of alcohol cases in Bradenton and across the State of Florida.
If this is your first time receiving a criminal notice for underage drinking, then you should not expect the prosecutor or the judge to be lenient with you as a result. However, it is possible that there might be reasons for mitigation. It is always in your best interest to speak to a professional lawyer from our law firm who can advise you on the next best move to make in your specific situation.
Our law firm has managed hundreds of cases regarding underage possession of alcohol, and we know that you might possibly be going through guilt or anxiety about what happens next. Fortunately, there is no reason for you to be concerned, as you can reach out and call a skilled lawyer from The Law Place and receive a free consultation.
If you decide to be represented by The Law Place, then a lawyer from our firm will be able to conduct an investigation, gather the facts of your case, and develop a strong defense to present in front of the court. Florida law can be difficult to comprehend at times, and you will need an experienced lawyer to explain the process and clarify the situation to you.
The Law Place will work hard to fight your charges, and we will do everything in our power to avoid you receiving a criminal record. A lawyer from our firm can potentially get the charges against you dropped, which ultimately means that you will be eligible to expunge the offense from your criminal history record permanently.
Don’t hesitate to call The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation, and we will fight your underage possession of alcohol charges together in Bradenton County.