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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 24471
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was recently at a party with some friends that got busted

Customer Question

I was recently at a party with some friends that got busted by the cops. I was a designated driver who had only had one beer. I was not given a breathalizer test or sobriety testing. I was given a court date for offences by minors. what should i do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.
Please clarify:

Are you under 21?

What exactly were you charged with?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes. i turn 19 in january
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.
ceobrian,

Thanks for responding. I am sorry for the delay. I wanted to walk the dogs before sitting down to compose an answer.

New Mexico has really toughened its stance on underage drinking. It's now a felony in the state to provide anyone with alcohol if they are under 21. In most states, underage drinking laws are zero tolerance statutes.

If you were cited as a minor who'd consumed alcohol rather than provided it, however, your case would be a misdemeanor charge. If you have no criminal history, you won't really have to worry about jail for this offense. However, in order to avoid a criminal conviction and having a criminal record, if at all possible, you should retain an attorney who should be able to negotiate a dispostion along those lines for you. If you can't afford to hire an attorney, you can tell the judge you are without the means to hire a lawyer and ask him to appoint you a public defender.

As you do not seem to have had alcohol in your possession when you were stopped and the officer also didn't breathlyze you, this may be a weak case for the state, and it may be that you should go to trial on this rather than to take any kind of a disposition. This is yet another reason to secure the services and get the advice of an attorney so that you know all of your options and can weigh the risk of trial against the benefits and risks of a deal and make an intelligent and informed decision on how best to proceed.

_____

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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. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.