Minor Possession of Alcohol
Minor in Possession of Alcohol Charges in Maryland
In the United States, it is the responsibility of each state to enact and enforce laws regarding the consumption of alcohol. As a result, these laws differ from state to state; this is especially true of charges involving minors in possession of alcohol. In Maryland, it is against the law for a person under the age of 21 to possess alcohol, with very few exceptions. One exception to this law is for those under the age of 21 working at a bar or other establishment that legally serves alcohol. In such cases, a minor may possess alcohol as a means of serving it to a customer, but he or she may not consume it.
Another exception to Maryland alcohol possession laws include situations in which the minor is in possession of alcohol in the presence of adult family members. This must be done in the presence of an immediate family member and also must be done on that family member’s property. In such situations, the minor is also legally permitted to consume alcohol.
Finally, a minor is permitted to possess and consume alcohol as part of a religious ceremony in the state of Maryland. Any other instance of a minor possession of alcohol is considered unlawful and can result in legal consequences for those involved.
Consequences for Minor Possession of Alcohol
The specific punishment for a minor illegally in possession of alcohol can vary depending on the specific age of the minor. Those under the age of 18 are treated as juveniles under state law and thus are subject to less severe penalties. The punishment for a juvenile in possession of alcohol can be mandatory drug and alcohol counseling, fines, and/or community service as determined by the court judge. Furthermore, the parents or guardians of the juvenile may ask that the minor’s record be sealed so that the charge does not show up on a background check down the road.
The punishment for a minor in possession over the age of 18 differ. Specifically, the minimum fine in Maryland is $500, and the judge can impose up to another $1,000 in fines at the time of trial. Furthermore, this can result in a misdemeanor charge on one’s record–one that may show up on future background checks for the rest of the individual’s life. It is sometimes possible to have such a misdemeanor charge expunged after so many years, though this can vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the case.
Handling a Minor in Possession Charge in Maryland
Regardless of whether a defendant is a juvenile or not, being faced with a minor possession of alcohol charge can have dubious implications. As a result, you will want to do everything that you can to fight the charge in court or to possibly receive lesser charges. Having a lawyer on one’s side at all times throughout the process can greatly influence the outcome.
By having a lawyer on your side, you can ensure the best chances of a favorable outcome for you. This could be having the charges dropped altogether so long as you go to an alcohol counseling class or perform some community service. Furthermore, you may be able to mitigate against serious fines and penalties by having a qualified and experienced lawyer.
If you have been charged as a in minor in possession of alcohol and are in need of a lawyer, then you can receive valuable, free legal advice by scheduling a no-obligation consultation with Robinson & Associates. Give us a call today to find out more at 443-524-7395.