Underage Drinking

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Juvenile Attorney

If you or your child has been charged with a criminal offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio juvenile attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss the case with you and assist you or your child in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding you or your child’s case.

Underage Drinking in Ohio

Underage alcohol consumption and/or possession is a common criminal charge for young people in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio. It is illegal under Ohio law for an underage person to knowingly order, pay for, share the cost of, attempt to purchase, possess or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public or private place. However, these prohibitions do not apply if the underage person is supervised by a parent. While this offense is common, it will still tarnish the young person’s record and jeopardize employment prospects and college admissions.

Underage drinking is known by several names in Ohio, including “underage alcohol consumption,” “underage intoxication,” “offense involving underage persons, and “underage alcohol possession.” Ohio law prohibits those under 21 from purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol (with limited exceptions) and it is illegal for underage persons to be intoxicated in a public place. Additionally, people charged with underage drinking are often charged with disorderly conduct or obstructing official business.

Ohio Penalties for Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is classified as a 1st degree misdemeanor under Ohio law. For juveniles, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is 90 days in a detention facility and a $250 fine. For adults under the age of 21, the potential sentence includes up to 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine. Moreover, a conviction is a permanent criminal record that may affect a person’s employment prospects and educational opportunities.

Defense Strategies for Underage Drinking in Ohio

There are two primary strategies for defending a person charged with underage drinking in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio. First, we must investigate the availability of a diversion program and whether the client qualifies for acceptance. If the client is accepted into a diversion program and successfully completes it, the case is dismissed without a conviction and the records are sealed (i.e., expunged). In the event that the client does not qualify for a diversion program (ex. the client did not successfully complete diversion or is facing a second underage drinking charge), Attorney David Johnson will file a discovery request with the prosecutor’s office and obtain the evidence the prosecutor intends to introduce, evaluate the strength of the evidence, and pursue all possible defenses to the charge.

If a diversion program is unavailable, or the client decides not to participate in diversion, we will enter a not guilty plea and defense against the charge of underage drinking. This process will involve pretrial hearings, possible hearings on motions to suppress evidence, and a trial.

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or your child is facing a criminal charge in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC at (614) 987-0192. As an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio criminal defense attorney, Attorney David Johnson will discuss the case with you and/or your child, put forth the strongest possible defenses, and assist you or your child in fighting the charges.