Can they charge me for intent to buy alcohol if I didn’t attempt to buy anything?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can they charge me for intent to buy alcohol if I didn’t attempt to buy anything?

I’m 19 and my 2 friends and I were at a liquor store; one is 19 and the other is 21. The 21 year old bought a bottle and went to his car and we stayed inside the store just looking at the

bottles. Next thing we knew we were getting charged with intent to buy alcohol. We didn’t

ask and questions or say,

Asked on June 16, 2016 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can be charged.... but being convicted is a different story.  Sometimes they will arrest minors just to scare them and send a message.  This called 'taking the ride.' 
From what you have described, this does not sound like an attempt crime because you didn't do anything in furtherance of the alleged offense.  With this said, you don't know what the store clerk is going to claim he/she heard. If they didn't hear you say anything and you didn't do anything in furtherance of the offense... then they don't have a case against you.
You still need an attorney, however.  Many people go and try to negotiate these lower level offenses and do not realize that anything they tell the judge or prosecutor can (and most likely will) be used against him at a final hearing.  This means that if the case was not very strong, it could become much stronger if you accidentally make statement implicating yourself.  If you have an attorney, any arguments they make cannot be used against you because they are (1) offered during settlement negotiations and (2) were not made by you personally.
 It's a little charge and you may not think it's worth the hassle... but you are young and this could appear on your record for a while.  It can affect scholarships and potentially deter some employers from hiring you.  If you didn't do this... this shouldn't be on your record.  At the very least, an attorney can help negotiate a deal which will eventually get this off your record.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption