What should I expect if I got pulled over with my boyfriend and my friend in the car and only my friend had been drinking but I’m underage?

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What should I expect if I got pulled over with my boyfriend and my friend in the car and only my friend had been drinking but I’m underage?

Both me and my boyfriend are 18 but our friend is 21. While neither me nor my boyfriend had been drinking our friend had had a couple beers and had about seven beers in his back pack that neither me nor my boyfriend had known about. When asked if there was any alcohol in the car our friend told the cop that he had beer. In the end, since I was driving, I got summoned to court. What should I do? I have never been pulled over before and never even set foot in a court house.

Asked on August 11, 2015 under General Practice, New Hampshire

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you aren't guilty of the charge, then you shouldn't enter a plea of guilty to the charge.  Even in this day and age, it is still the state's burden to prove that you committed the offense.  Court is not a fun experience, but it is helpful to have an attorney assist you.  They can walk you through the process of appearing in court, entering a plea, and deciding how to resolve your case.

If you have never been in trouble, then you may be eliglible for certain programs that can guarantee you a dismissal.  For example, if you complete an alcohol awareness program, then the prosecutor will sometimes agree to dismiss the charges without a trial or hearing. 

If you cannot afford an attorney, make sure that you at least have an attorney review any agreements or documents that the state wants you to sign.  You don't want to entered into any agreements that negatively affect your future or scholarship opportunities if you are thinking about college.


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