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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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my son got arrested for underage drinking in PA. If I asked

Resolved Question:

my son got arrested for underage drinking in PA.   If I asked the officer to amend the charge to a lesser offense, what if any ramifications would this have on his "record"?
Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
How old is your son? Does he have a court date yet?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My son is 17. No, he doesn't have a court date. He needs to decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty on a summary citation given to him on the night of the incident. I believe he would be convicted at a hearing since he admitted to the officer that he had a sip of beer.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Under the facts as you describe them here, in Pennsylvania, Disorderly Conduct, like underage drinking, would also be a summary offense. (See Pennsylvania Statutes Section 5503.) So I would recommend taking the advice of the Magistrate and seeing if the police officer is willing to amend the citation.

If the officer says "no," your son could plead guilty to something that is not a crime, and which could get expunged down the road as a juvenile offense. If the officer is amenable to the amendment, however, that would be a better deal. Your son would not have to take any alcohol-related classes to dispose of the matter, and it couldn't be used against him as a predicate if he is ever again caught drinking while under age. It would also be potentially expungeable as a juvenile offense.


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Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 15949
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What do you mean my son could plead to something that is not a crime?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
I mean only that a summary offense is neither a misdemeanor nor a felony. It is only a criminal infraction -- the equivalent of a traffic ticket. In either instance your son could say he'd never been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony


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This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice.

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