Is it true that if I wasn’t immediately cited for an offense that I cannot be cited now?

I was at a party about 2 weeks ago and their was underage drinking. I was not drinking and the cops could tell that. The parents were allowing the drinking. They didn’t find alcohol near me or on me. I am 16 years old and the cops took down my info, then I left with an adult. They said that they would call my parents the next day, but they did not. Now ,2 weeks letter . I got a letter in the mail saying that I’m being cited and need to go in front of some board (not judge). Is their any way for me to fight this?

Asked on June 12, 2012 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


Andrew Goldberg

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, that is not true. Subsequent to the alleged criminal act  ( underage drinking ), the arresting police department will file a Criminal Complaint and an Affidavit of Probable Cause. Shortly thereafter, the local District Court will notify you of the date for her your hearing. Remember, it is likely that the local District Court has a diversionary program allowing you to avoid a conviction for the underage drinking and the resulting license suspension. In Delaware County, the diversionary program ( community service and/or classes ) is automatic. Good luck.

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