As a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC, I don’t only deal with domestic disputes, but with underage drinking citations as well. Here we offer legal support for anyone under the age of 21 that is caught drinking.
According to the CDC, drunk driving is responsible for
“more than 4300 annual deaths and underage drinking is the leading cause of death for youth”
In fact, 11% of all alcohol consumed in the U.S. is by underage drinkers.
Whether you or one of your loved ones has been caught underage drinking, it’s important to know the next steps you should take. You shouldn’t be defined for the rest of your life by this mistake and you should be able to take measures so it never happens again. Drunk driving and underage drinking citations are very serious, but it doesn’t mean you can’t move forward.
With that in mind, here are 3 important tips for dealing with an underage drinking citation.
1. Have Information At Hand
Because it is a crime under the NC General Statutes, an underage drinking conviction will become part of your permanent criminal record. The best outcome is to get the charge dismissed, that way it will appear on your record as a dismissal but not as a conviction. This distinction may be very significant for your future.
In most cases, your Jacksonville, NC ticket or citation will have a court date on it. If you retain an attorney you will not need to appear in court. It is very important that you retain an attorney prior to your court date. This ensures that your attorney can take the appropriate actions to continue your case. To get started on this, bring the ticket/citation the officer gave to you to your attorney.
2. There Are Programs that Can Help You
If you’re a first offender is a program that can attend to help keep this charge off their record. You can also look at the the Underage Drinking Street Safe Education Program and there are a variety of community service organizations that can help you. To learn more about what an underage drinking citation means, check out this guide via the NC Department of Transportation.
3. You Can Move On With Your Life
Getting an underage drinking citation doesn’t mean that you can’t get a job in the future. You simply have to read the questions on job applications and answer truthfully.
Let me give you an example:
In this example you’re a 20 year old student. You received an underage drinking ticket, hired me and this ticket was dismissed. Winter break rolls around and you want to get a job to make some extra money. You’re worried about your underage drinking ticket, but you answer the questions like this:
Question: So, have you ever been charged with a crime under NC General Statutes?
Answer: Yes, I was charged with underaged drinking when I was a 20 years old. After I participated in an alcohol education program and performed community service, the charge was dismissed.
Question: Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
Question: Have you ever been charged with a felony?
Question: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
The employer weighs their options and you’re still the best person for the job. You get it and have extra money for the holidays. It was easy, you just had to tell the truth.
Need More Assistance?
Understanding your legal recourse is a right. No matter what you need, consider getting a consultation. Keith Metz is a full-service, family law attorney in Charlotte, NC. Contact me today to find out how the Metz Law Firm has your back.