How should I defend myself in court against a social host violation?

I hosted a party with underaged drinking, and the cops showed up and busted it. Now I am being charged with a social host violation and have an upcoming court date. However, I did not supply any of the alcohol; none of the alcohol came from my house (it was brought in by other people, I am under 21 as well); and I did not intend the party to get out of hand (there were only supposed to be 10 people there). I am wondering what I should say in court/how I should approach this case?

Asked on July 9, 2012 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since you are charged with providing alcohol to under age people (below 21 years of age) since the event was at your house, you have a serious issue to contend with in that if convicted of this misdemeanor, you could be sentenced for up to six months in the county jail and/or fined up to $1,000.

The best way to defend this matter is to retain a criminal defense attorney. If you are not a licensed attorney experienced in criminal defense, you are truly at a disadvantage with respect to the criminal proceeding against you.

One way to defend the charge is to get a copy of the police report over the incident, carefully read it and make notes as to any inconsistencies by the arresting officer to discredit him or her at trial.


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