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

Answers:

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.


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