Charged With Underage Possession of Alcohol
In East Brunswick, law enforcement officials and liquor stores are on high alert to prevent the sale of alcohol to persons under the age of 21, especially given the township’s proximity to New Brunswick, the home of thousands of underage college students looking to purchase alcoholic beverages. As a result, it is not uncommon for persons to pick up citations and face serious consequences based on this act. If you or someone you love has been charged with this serious offense in East Brunswick Township, call an experienced attorney at our firm. We have an office right in East Brunswick, are one of the largest criminal firms in the state with several former prosecutors, and appear in East Brunswick Municipal Court routinely. We can be reached for free consultations around the clock at 732-227-1200.
Consuming Alcohol Underage in East Brunswick Township
Under NJSA 33:1-81, it is illegal for a minor to do one of essentially four things in relation to alcoholic beverages. The first of these three all have to do with places where alcohol can be sold or served. First, it is unlawful for a minor to to enter any premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of purchasing or having served to him or her any alcoholic beverage. Second, it is unlawful for an underage person to consume an alcoholic beverage while on that premises or to attempt to purchase or have another purchase for them any alcoholic beverage on the premises. Third, it is unlawful for an underage person to misrepresent their age with the purpose of inducing a purveyor of alcohol to serve or sell to them an alcoholic beverage. Lastly, and somewhat unrelated to the minor themselves, it is unlawful for a person to enter a premises with the purpose of purchasing alcohol for someone who because of their age is unable to do so themselves.
The penalty for violation of any of these four provisions of the statute is that the person will be adjudicated a disorderly person. The penalty for such an adjudication is a fine of not less than $500 and the suspension or postponement of the violator’s right to operate a motor vehicle for six months. It would be a postponement if the violator were under the age of 17 at the time of the conviction and therefore did not have a driver’s license to begin with. In this situation, the suspension takes place upon this person’s seventeenth birthday and runs for six months from that date. If the violator does, however, have a license at the time of the conviction, the court shall collect the license at that time and forward it to the division of motor vehicles for the duration of the sentence.
There are, however, three general exceptions to this rule. The first of these is that a minor may possess and consume alcohol in the presence and on the property of an immediate adult family member. This exception does not extend to allowing non-family minor to consume alcohol in the presence of parents or guardians, so a parent could be held liable for holding a party for underage persons under the language of this exception. The second exception is that a minor may possess or consume alcohol in connection with a religious observance, rite, or ceremony. Lastly, a minor may possess, but not consume, alcohol in the course of employment at a place licensed to sell alcohol or as students at a culinary institute and or hotel management program.
East Brunswick Underage Alcohol Possession or Consumption Attorney
Given the potentially damaging consequences to your life that a criminal record, fine and suspension of your license for six months could have on your ability not only to get around, but maintain employment, you cannot afford to take this charge lightly. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against criminal charges, including countless underage possession of alcohol charges and fake ID charges in East Brunswick. Our team even consists of a number of former prosecutors well-versed in underage drinking and false identification offenses. We will devise the best approach for attacking the prosecution’s case against you. Do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation by calling our East Brunswick firm at 732-227-1200.