What is my best defense without a lawyer if I was given a citation for purchase of alcohol by a minor and I have pleaded not guilty?

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What is my best defense without a lawyer if I was given a citation for purchase of alcohol by a minor and I have pleaded not guilty?

I was in the passenger seat of a friend’s car when we were pulled over and asked to get out of the vehicle. I had confessed that there was an empty beer can under the seat that I was sitting in. I was not given a breathalyzer test, although I offered to take one. The car did not belong to me and I was not driving.

Asked on December 13, 2013 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You need to show that you were not given the opportunity to take a breathalyzer and that the police never tested you to determine if you were intoxicated. Therefore, there is no proof of alcohol consumption. But the issue here is if you purchased alcohol. If the police didn't check you for a receipt or anything, then yes, you may have enough there to show you did not do it. The burden of proof in a criminal matter is beyond a reasonable doubt. You don't have to prove anything; it is up to the prosecution to prove it. Your best bet is to obtain a lawyer to help you in your defense.


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