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Diligent Attorneys Defending Minors Against Alcohol-Related Charges in Pennsylvania

Penalties for underage drinking in PA

The legal age to purchase or consume alcohol in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is 21. Under Pennsylvania law, it is illegal for anyone under that age to purchase, consume, possess, or transport liquor, malt or brewed beverages. The penalties for a conviction are mandatory fines and loss of driving privileges. These fines and license suspensions increase with each subsequent conviction.

For a first conviction, the operating privileges are suspended for 90 days; for a second conviction, the suspension is for one year; for a third or subsequent conviction, the suspension is for two years. A conviction is defined as any finding of guilt by way of trial or guilty plea, adjudication in juvenile court, or admission into any preadjudication program. The following information details additional statutes and penalties for violations of underage drinking laws in Pennsylvania.

False identification and fake IDs

It is a crime for anyone under the age of 21 to falsely represent himself to be 21 or order to any licensed dealer, distributor, or other person for the purpose of procuring or having furnished to him any liquor or malt or brewed beverages. A first violation of this provision is a summary offense. A second of subsequent violation is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

It is a crime (misdemeanor of the second degree) to manufacture or sell a false identification card that contains a false representation of someone’s identity, birth date, or age. It is a crime for anyone under the age of 21 to carry or possess a false identification card. A first violation of this provision is a summary offense. A second violation is a misdemeanor of the third degree. These offenses also involve mandatory driver license suspension.

Convictions and diversion programs

Each jurisdiction treats these offenses differently. Some counties have set programs that apply to all District Justice Courts. Others leave it to each District Magisterial Judge to develop and implement a program that may avoid the mandatory license suspension and/or fines. A person who is convicted of an underage drinking offense may qualify for a work/school license and may qualify for an expungement of their record upon turning the age of 21.

What you can expect from an underage drinking defense lawyer

At Platt, DiGiorgio & DiFabio, we believe in defending young people against the penalties for under-age drinking. While we have a reputation for being skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyers, we are also known for being compassionate and understanding. Upon taking your case, we can review the evidence and begin working with you to create a solid defense.

Dedicated help for underage drinking charges in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery County, PA

At Platt, DiGiorgio & DiFabio, we know that under-age drinking charges may seem frivolous — but, they can change your child’s life forever. Let our experienced attorneys build a strong defense for your child. To speak to a skilled underage drinking lawyer at our firm, call us today at 267-388-1599 or contact us online.