Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
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It is unlawful for someone under the legal drinking age (21) to buy, receive, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages. Underage drinking is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $2,500 fine and 6 months in jail. Judges have the discretion to place an offender on probation.It is also unlawful for an underage person to ask another person to buy, sell, give, serve, or provide him/her alcoholic beverages. The maximum penalty for this class 3 misdemeanor is a $500 fine and 30 days in jail. Judges also have the discretion to place the offender on probation. The person who furnishes the alcohol to an underage person, however, may be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor.
If you plea "no contest", all that means is that you don't admit or deny the allegations in the ticket. For purposes of sentencing, its like a guilty plea.
If you plead not guilty, then you will need to go to court to resolve the matter.
If you plead guilty, then you admit to the offense and will be sentenced.
There may be a diversion program available. But it is up to the prosecutor and/or judge to determine if you are eligible. If you are, you would be placed on probation for a period of time, may have to complete a class, complete community service and pay fines. You will have to to ask the judge to be in a program. Because you have already had a diversion/deferral in California, you may not be eligible for another one.
If you plead not guilty, then a court date will be set. That will buy you some time to speak to an attorney in Arizona who practices in Tempe. You can ask if s/he can help you and if you would be eligible for a diversion/deferral. If there is nothing that can be done, then you can always change your plea to guilty at the time of the hearing.
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