UNDERAGE POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL §4.1-305
CHARGED WITH UNDERAGE POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL?
Underage possession of alcohol is a charge that we see regularly in Caroline, Chesterfield, Goochland, Henrico, Hanover, and all over the metro-Richmond area. Whether it be a high school party in Hanover or college party in downtown Richmond there are a lot of temptations for minors to have a drink, before they reach the legal age. A conviction for underage possession can follow you for the rest of your life.
LET OUR EXPERIENCE, HELP YOU IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH UNDERAGE POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL
Each of our lawyers has spent time both prosecuting, and defending people with all types of drug charges. When dealing with a charge like possession of alcohol you want an experienced attorney to review your case. Our lawyers have helped many clients who have been charged with underage possession of alcohol. Each case is different and there are many factors that go into preparing a defense to your charges. There are many things to consider when preparing a defense to underage possession of alcohol. That is why it is important to talk to an Attorney who has handled these cases before.
PENALTIES FOR UNDERAGE POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL IN VIRGINIA
The punishment for underage possession of alcohol can be very harsh. There is not a standard disposition for underage possession of alcohol. Virginia law looks to a number of factors to determine punishment the most important being age and previous interactions with the court.
§4.1-305. Purchasing or possessing alcoholic beverages unlawful in certain cases; venue; exceptions; penalty; forfeiture; deferred proceedings; treatment and education programs and services.
A. No person to whom an alcoholic beverage may not lawfully be sold under § 4.1-304 shall consume, purchase or possess, or attempt to consume, purchase or possess, any alcoholic beverage, except (i) pursuant to subdivisions 1 through 7 of § 4.1-200; (ii) where possession of the alcoholic beverages by a person less than 21 years of age is due to such person’s making a delivery of alcoholic beverages in pursuance of his employment or an order of his parent; or (iii) by any state, federal, or local law-enforcement officer or his agent when possession of an alcoholic beverage is necessary in the performance of his duties. Such person may be prosecuted either in the county or city in which the alcohol was possessed or consumed, or in the county or city in which the person exhibits evidence of physical indicia of consumption of alcohol. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of this subsection if the defendant shows that such consumption or possession was pursuant to subdivision 7 of § 4.1-200.
E. Any retail licensee who in good faith promptly notifies the Board or any state or local law-enforcement agency of a violation or suspected violation of this section shall be accorded immunity from an administrative penalty for a violation of § 4.1-304.
F. When any adult who has not previously been convicted of underaged consumption, purchase or possession of alcoholic beverages in Virginia or any other state or the United States is before the court, the court may, upon entry of a plea of guilty or not guilty, if the facts found by the court would justify a finding of guilt of a violation of subsection A, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused, defer further proceedings and place him on probation subject to appropriate conditions. Such conditions may include the imposition of the license suspension and restricted license provisions in subsection C. However, in all such deferred proceedings, the court shall require the accused to enter a treatment or education program or both, if available, that in the opinion of the court best suits the needs of the accused. If the accused is placed on local community-based probation, the program or services shall be located in any of the judicial districts served by the local community-based probation services agency or in any judicial district ordered by the court when the placement is with an alcohol safety action program. The services shall be provided by (i) a program licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, (ii) certified by the Commission on VASAP, or (iii) by a program or services made available through a community-based probation services agency established pursuant to Article 9 (§ 9.1-173 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, if one has been established for the locality. When an offender is ordered to a local community-based probation services rather than the alcohol safety action program, the local community-based probation services agency shall be responsible for providing for services or referring the offender to education or treatment services as a condition of probation.
Upon violation of a condition, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. Upon fulfillment of the conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against him without an adjudication of guilt. A discharge and dismissal hereunder shall be treated as a conviction for the purpose of applying this section in any subsequent proceedings.
When any juvenile is found to have committed a violation of subsection A, the disposition of the case shall be handled according to the provisions of Article 9 (§ 16.1-278 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1.