What will happen if I plead not guilty to a possession of alcohol citation?

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What will happen if I plead not guilty to a possession of alcohol citation?

I am 17 years old. I was staying a house with 12 friends in MD. The cops walked up onto the porch and told a group of people staying there that they could smell alcohol and everyone was getting an underage if it wasn’t handed over. This was clearly a lie because it would have been impossible to smell the alcohol from the front porch. The lease holder and another kid brought 4 unopened bottles of vodka from the bedroom and handed it over. This was not my alcohol and I wasn’t it aware it was in the house. The cops took my ID as well as 3other ID’s and all of us got citations.

Asked on June 29, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

howard rovner

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Great question.  

Please go to www.greaterphiladelphialawyer.com for a free case analysis. 

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The police can cite everyone for possession of alcohol if there is no clear evidence of whose alcohol it is. The police do not need to smell alcohol on anyone to cite for possession. Consumption is a different issue and charge for underage persons (less than 21 years of age). The best thing to do, especially if you have never had a charge against you, is to get a lawyer, and yes plead not guilty and put the burden on the police and prosecution (as is always the case in a criminal charge) to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you possessed alcohol. Please understand that this charge can follow you, even if your record is sealed due to being a minor.


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