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Arrest for underage drinking has serious consequences

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2014 | Criminal Law

While the law has always enforced “underage drinking”, since 2011 the state of Florida has certainly toughened up it’s stance on this crime. In FL, it’s a first degree misdemeanor to allow underage drinking at a bar or even at a house party. This is enforced on the second offense.

This is focused mainly on high school and college students, who are under 21, and anyone helping them enjoy alcohol during parties. This might not seem like a major deal, but the legal consequences are quite harsh. Jail time for a second degree misdemeanor can be a maximum of 60 days. A first-degree misdemeanor could land you up to a year in jail. Fines increase from $500 for the lesser offense to $1,000 maximum for a first degree misdemeanor. It won’t look good on your record when you are searching for a university to attend.

Adults who provide underage drinkers with alcohol can get in as much as trouble as the young ones. For example, a mother in Fort Myers, FL, was arrested a few years ago on a charge of allowing minors to have alcohol at a house she rented for a party for her teen daughter. So it’s not just the friends of underage drinkers who get busted, but close family members as well. 

While the law’s heart is in the right place, some feel that the penalties for this crime are a bit excessive. With the guidance of a defense lawyer, these charges can be reduced and possibly even dismissed.