Columbia Underage Drinking Defense Attorney
Underage Drinking Laws & Charges in South Carolina
At The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC, we understand that underage drinking is a common problem among teenagers and young adults. While drinking underage is illegal and can have severe consequences, we believe that every individual deserves fair representation and a chance to defend their case.
Our experienced criminal defense attorney is here to provide underage drinking defense services to those who have been charged with this offense. We recognize how a criminal record can have a significant impact on one's future, and we are dedicated to helping our clients avoid such consequences.
Continue reading to learn more, or contact us today at (803) 770-4483 for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced underage drinking defense lawyer in Columbia, SC.
Understanding South Carolina’s Underage Drinking Laws
In South Carolina, you must be at least 21 years old to purchase or consume alcohol. Anyone under the age of 21 who purchases, consumes, or has alcohol in their possession faces misdemeanor charges, which can come with serious penalties. Though many people do not realize it, an underage drinking conviction can not only result in hundreds of dollars in fines but also up to 30 days in jail. What’s more, a conviction will stay on your permanent criminal record and could lead to various occupational, educational, financial, and reputational consequences.
Providing false identification to obtain alcohol is also considered a separate offense. Visit our page on presenting a fake ID to learn more about this criminal charge and its consequences, as well as how our firm can help you with your defense.
How Law Enforcement Proves Underage Drinking
South Carolina has strict laws in place to address underage drinking and its consequences. Law enforcement agencies often charge individuals with underage drinking offenses through various means, such as conducting alcohol compliance checks, responding to noise complaints, or initiating traffic stops.
To prove an underage drinking charge in South Carolina, law enforcement typically relies on a variety of evidence, such as:
- Witness testimonies
- Breathalyzer tests
- Blood alcohol content (bac) measurements
- The discovery of alcohol in the possession of a minor
In many cases, it is possible to challenge such evidence. It may also be possible to challenge whether such evidence was lawfully collected, or whether law enforcement officials violated your rights during an arrest or when citing you for underage drinking. For example, if a police officer entered your home without a warrant and against your will, then cited you for having alcohol, it may be possible to challenge the citation due to unreasonable search and seizure.
What Are the Penalties for Underage Drinking in South Carolina?
The penalties for underage drinking in South Carolina can range from fines to community service and substance abuse education programs. Depending on the circumstances, a young person may also face the possibility of serving time in a juvenile detention center or county jail.
Specifically, if charged with misdemeanor underage drinking, you face the following penalties:
- A fine of $200 to $300
- Imprisonment for up to 30 days
- Completion of an approved alcohol education program
Fines increase for a second or subsequent offense, but the maximum sentence for underage drinking in South Carolina is 30 days. It's important to note that even a single conviction for underage drinking can have far-reaching consequences.
How an Underage Drinking Conviction Can Affect Your Future
Having an underage drinking conviction on one's criminal record can negatively impact future opportunities. It may present challenges when applying for scholarships, college admissions, or job opportunities, as it can be viewed as a disregard for the law and responsible behavior. Additionally, the long-term effects of carrying such a conviction can damage a person's reputation and hinder their personal and professional growth.
If you are facing underage drinking charges in South Carolina, it is crucial that you seek legal representation. Hiring a lawyer who is experienced in defending underage drinking cases can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome. A knowledgeable attorney can review the evidence, challenge its admissibility if necessary, and develop a strong defense strategy tailored to the specific case.
How Our Columbia Underage Drinking Attorney Can Help
At The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC, we not only represent those accused of underage drinking but also provide services to help the accused avoid future legal problems. We are committed to protecting your rights and advocating tirelessly for you.
Our firm can help you in the following ways:
- Offering Personalized Legal Advice and Representation: We can provide tailored legal advice and representation based on the unique details of your situation. We can work with you to help you understand your situation, build a strong defense, and represent you in court.
- Fighting for Reduced Charges: We can work to reduce your charges, help you avoid a conviction, and/or minimize the impact of your criminal record. By negotiating with the prosecution, we can help you avoid harsh penalties and fines.
- Providing Education and Counseling: We believe that education and counseling are essential in helping individuals avoid future legal issues. Our team can provide education and counseling to individuals who have been charged with underage drinking, helping them understand the consequences of their actions and how to avoid similar situations in the future.
- Fiercely Protecting Your Rights: We are fully prepared to protect your constitutional rights throughout the legal process. We are dedicated to ensuring that you receive fair treatment under the law every step of the way.
If you or someone you know has been charged with underage drinking, contact The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC today. Our experienced Columbia underage drinking lawyer is here to provide the legal advice and representation you need.
Get in touch with us at (803) 770-4483 or submit a secure online contact form and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.
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