Thank you for your question.
In Indiana, this would actually be charged as "Contributing to the delinquincy of a minor", and could be either a Class A Misdemeanor or Class C felony if the person giving the alcohol to the child was at least 21 years old.
The relevant statute reads in part:
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor IC 35-46-1-8Sec. 8. (a) A person at least eighteen (18) years of age who knowingly or intentionally encourages, aids, induces, or causes a person less than eighteen (18) years of age to commit an act of delinquency (as defined by IC 31-37-1 or IC 31-37-2) commits contributing to delinquency, a Class A misdemeanor.
However, the offense described in subsection (a) is a Class C felony: if:
(A) the person committing the offense is at least twenty-one (21) years of age and knowingly or intentionally furnishes:
(i) an alcoholic beverage to a person less than eighteen (18) years of age in violation of IC 7.1-5-7-8 when the person committing the offense knew or reasonably should have known that the person furnished the alcoholic beverage was less than eighteen (18) years of age;
All a prosecutor would need to establish therefore is that a person knowingly or intentionally gave alcohol to a minor to sustain a conviction. All the police would need to actually charge or arrest someone is a reasonable, good faith belief that a crime has been committed.
I recently found out someone over 21 provided my daughter with alcohol. I have no physical proof of this other than I confronted my daugther and she told me it happened. Would I be able to present a good enough case to get a conviction without physical proof of this? I don't think my daughter would testify to this and I'm afraid it would be a "he says, she says" situation and I would be wasting my time and money.
Thank you for your reply.
There shouldn't be any cost involved to you because you would be reporting the providing of alcohol to the authorities to investigate. If you daughter wouldn't be willing to testify however, it sounds unlikely that a prosecutor would even have enough information to go on, because as you said, it would be a case of "he said, she said" and they may choose not to even file criminal charges in such a situation.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).