How do I get an underage drinking charge changed to disorderly conduct?

I was given an non-traffic citation for underage drinking while coming home from a baseball game with my friends. I was not driving, was breathalyze but not told what I blew. I decided to plead not guilty to the citation because there was no total fines listed on the original citation. I have also never been in trouble with the law before this, not even a parking ticket. I want to get my charge changed to disorderly conduct because if I loose my license my insurance will go up and I cannot afford that. How can I go about getting my charge changed? I would like to avoid hiring a lawyer if I can. If I can get this changed will I have to list the this charge on future employment applications until I get it expunged, which I read was 5 years after conviction.

Asked on July 15, 2012 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


Andrew Goldberg

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You don't need a reduction to disorderly conduct. In the Underage drinking statute itself, there is a provision for an alternative adjudication program that does not result in a license suspension and does not result in a conviction. When you go before the District judge, simply ask for the alternative adjudication program. Typically, it consists of community service hours and/or classes. I  don't have the actual statute in front of  me but I can guarantee you the Judge is aware of the provision for the alternative adjudication program.

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