Florida is a popular spring break destination for college students. An Indiana spring breaker’s party was interrupted by police officers on foot patrol. The officers stopped the defendant drinking beer on the beach with friends. The defendant was arrested and charged with Possession of Alcohol by a Minor.
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
In Florida, the legal drinking age for a person is 21 years. Possession of alcohol by a minor can be construed as a first or second-degree misdemeanor. Under the Florida Statutes 562.111, it is illegal for anyone under 21 years of age to possess wine, liquor, mixed drinks, beer, or spirits. The possession can be actual, meaning the person has alcohol in their hands or on them, or it can be constructive in which case the person has control over the alcohol.
Penalties for possession of alcohol by a minor include a maximum of 60 days in jail or a 6-month probation and a fine of $500 for a second-degree misdemeanor. This is generally what possession of alcohol by a minor is. However, they can also be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree, in which case the penalty would be one year of jail time, 12 months probation, and a fine of $1,000. A first-degree misdemeanor is charged when it is the defendant’s second offense or more.
Other consequences that occur with possession of alcohol by a minor include a driver’s license suspension of 6 to 12 months. If a second or subsequent offense is mandated by the state, then a 2 years suspension may be put into place.
Defenses to Underage Drinking
There are various defenses that can be used for underage drinking, including the following:
- Non-alcoholic beverage
- Lack of knowledge
- Destruction of evidence
- Holding the beverage for a friend did not realize it was an alcoholic
- Lack of a search warrant
- Failure to read Miranda rights
Musca Law Firm
If you have been charged with underage drinking, our attorneys at Musca Law Firm want to hear from you. We have successfully served many who have been charged with possession of alcohol by a minor. Our attorneys have over 150 years of combined legal service between our entire team. We will collaborate with each other in order to develop the best defense for your case to ensure you have a favorable outcome.
Please call us today at (888) 484-5057 to schedule your free no-obligation consultation. We have offices in various cities, such as Orlando, Naples, Boca Raton, New Port Richey, Fort Lauderdale, and many others. We serve all of Florida and have convenient hours with extended night and weekend appointments available for our clients’ convenience. Our 24-hour phone service ensures that your call is always received. We look forward to speaking with you and hearing about your case!
RESULT: The Musca Law Defense Attorney filed a motion on behalf of his client to eliminate the need for his appearance in court from his home state of Indiana. The Attorney also aggressively challenged the Prosecution’s evidence and the charges against the Defendant. All charges against the Defendant were DROPPED!