What are your options if you are arrested for underage drinking?

I was at a club and I stupidly said to the security guard, “Your a really cool security guard.” He then proceeded to take me outside and talk to the cops. I was arrested on the spot without a breathe or any other test. However, I told them I drank some wine with my friends earlier. Is it possible just to pay a fine? Or do I have to go to court? Should I do some sort of community service?

Asked on September 22, 2011 under Criminal Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The options are not up to you--they're up to the authorities (e.g. courts, police, prosecutor).

Since you've been arrested, get a criminal defense attorney (one with DUI or other alcohal-related experience, preferably) to represent you. The attorney may be able to find some flaw in the search or other evidence that will throw the case out--that is unlikely, but possible. More likely, the attorney will be able to draw on his experience and contacts to negotiate with the authorities. Assuming this is a first offense, you otherwise have a clear record, etc., it's very possible the charge will be dropped; or if not dropped, will be minimized and you will get a minimal punishment, like community service, a mandate to attend some anti-alcohal class, a fine, etc. But let your attorney approach the authories and try to negotiate something for you--he has the training and experience.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.