Richmond Underarge Drinking Lawyer
Have you or your son or daughter been arrested for underage drinking or possession of alcohol in Richmond, Virginia? Don’t let a simple mistake impact your future. An experienced Richmond underage drinking attorney can help you deal with the charges and aggressively pursue a more favorable outcome that protects your freedom and future.
Turn to Upton Law, PLLC, for help in facing your underage drinking charges. Attorney Samantha Upton understands the anxiety and stress that a criminal charge for underage drinking can cause. You can trust that Samantha will provide you with a straightforward assessment of your rights and options and can offer legal strategies to try to resolve your charges.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation initial case review to learn how a Richmond underage drinking attorney can help you or your son or daughter pursue a favorable outcome in an underage drinking case.
Underage Drinking Laws in Richmond, Virginia
Virginia law makes it a crime for a person under 21 to possess or consume alcohol. The law also prohibits efforts to purchase or acquire alcohol while underage, such as having a fake ID.
Virginia law also has strict laws for underage drinking and driving. Virginia is considered a “zero-tolerance” state for underage DUI. Even having a tiny amount of alcohol in the bloodstream can result in an underage motorist being charged with DUI.
Underage Possession of Alcohol Penalties in Richmond, Virginia
Underage possession of alcohol in Richmond is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
A Conviction for Underage Possession Can Carry Various Penalties, Including:
- Incarceration – The court may impose a sentence of detention of up to 12 months in jail.
- Fines – A conviction carries a mandatory minimum fine of $500, which can be increased to up to $2,500 in the court’s discretion.
- Community service – As an alternative to fines, a sentence for an underage alcohol possession conviction may require performing at least 50 hours of community service as a condition of probation.
- Random testing – If a person convicted of underage possession or drinking obtains a restricted driver’s license after having their license suspended, they will be subject to monitoring by an alcohol safety action program or supervision by a community-based probation services agency.
- Loss of driving privileges – If between the ages of 18 and 20, an offender’s driver’s license will be suspended for a period of six months to one year. If under the age of 18, license privileges will be suspended for six months. Someone under the age of 16 years and three months will have their ability to apply for a driver’s license deferred for six months after reaching the age of 16 years and three months.
- Permanent criminal record – Finally, a conviction for underage drinking or possession of alcohol will leave you with a permanent criminal record that can show up on background checks for employment, housing, licensing, and admission to educational programs. You may become eligible to seek an expungement of your record, which has the effect of removing your record from public view. Your record will still be accessible to law enforcement, judicial, and corrections agencies.