College students are susceptible to underage drinking, especially when spring ushers in outdoor parties. But young adults under the age of 21 caught with alcohol can face serious legal consequences in Virginia.
Loss of license, suspension from school, fines up to $2,500 and even 12 months of jail are all possibilities for young adults age 18-20 who buy, possess or drink alcohol and are caught.
Many college students don’t realize that consumed alcohol in their systems often results in underage alcohol possession charges.
Using a fake ID to buy alcohol can result in a misdemeanor charge, losing the right to drive for a year and a minimum fine of $500.
If found guilty of charges, the young adult will have a criminal record, impacting job and housing prospects well into the future.
First offenders may, at the discretion of a judge, be eligible to enter a treatment or education plan. Fines, community service and loss of license are still possible. Upon successful fulfillment of the conditions, the court will likely dismiss the proceedings without a guilty verdict.
Often, Virginia colleges will impart separate punishments for underage drinking, including additional community service, probation and suspension from extracurricular activities. In some cases, administration will let parents know of the charges. Virginia law allows colleges to inform parents; each institution has its own policy.
The criminal defense attorneys at Nichols Zauzig Sandler, P.C. can help to ease anxieties and minimize the impact of underage charges on the young adult. We are expert in all nuances of the law and alternative penalties. For a free consultation, call our criminal defense attorneys Tracey Lenox or Michael Hollingsworth today at 703-492-4200, or complete the contact us form.
To find out more about preparing for your young adult to handle the freedoms and responsibilities of college, download the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control document: Guide for Parents of First-Year College Students.
DISCLAIMER: The results of every case depend on factors unique to that case, and NZS Law does not guarantee or predict results in any given case.