What canI do about an out-of-stateunderage drinking charge?

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What canI do about an out-of-stateunderage drinking charge?

I was passing through PA and pulled over. I thr reason was that I made an illegal turn because I couldn’t see the lines due to snow on the road. The police officer saw an alcohol bottle on the floor in the back. It was open but I was not drinking. I offered to take a test but they didn’t have me take one, instead they just gave me a citation/summons. I an underage and I’m an OH resident. I can’t afford a lawyer and am unsure of what to do.

Asked on March 2, 2011 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Well, you need to deal with it asap.  Can you ask anyone for help, like your parents?  Or another "adult" that you trust?  Did the citation/summons indicate a date that you have to appear in court?  Then you have to make sure that you go and an attorney should be appointed on your behalf.  What exactly is the charge?  Police officers can issue citations and do searches based upon observance and smell (like smelled alcohol on breath) but attorneys can refute the evidence if under the law you were entitled to take a test or they were required to give one to you.  You have to worry about suspension of your license, warrants for not showing up, etc.  Take this seriously.  Good luck.


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