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My son (17 and from SC) was charged with 18B-302(b)(1) while

My son (17 and from...

My son (17 and from SC) was charged with 18B-302(b)(1) while on vacation on Bald Head Island, NC on July 15, 2013. He was there with another family and there were 5 boys including my son who were in possession of alcohol. They all got this same charge and have to go to court at the Brunswick County court on September 13 in which they will have to miss school. The officer said to just show up at court, pay the fine and the worst thing that would happen would be 6 months probation. He also said that this would not follow them to college. So, I am asking you if this would be true?

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Answered in 16 minutes by:
7/21/2013
Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,502
Experience: Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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Hello.

The charge is technically a Class 1 misdemeanor. The typical penalty is some period of probation and a fine. If they do receive probation it is possible to request that the probation be transferred to their home state. There is a possibility of other requirements, like community service and/or an alcohol class. Often, in instances like these, the prosecution will offer some kind of diversion program or an outcome called prayer for judgment continued (PJC), which, if they complete the requirements of the program, results in a dismissal so they don't even get the conviction on their juvenile records. You can certainly go to court without an attorney and try to negotiate with the prosecutor yourselves. If for some reason the plea offer is one that you can't live with, then you can always ask for a postponement to obtain counsel for your son. In addition, since the trial date is some time away, one thing parents often do in these circumstances is enroll their child in an alcohol class, because if you bring proof to court of completion, the prosecution may offer a better deal because it shows that everyone is being proactive about the issue. It is not required unless the court orders it later, but it generally makes a positive impression on the judge and court.
Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,502
Experience: Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

So, I can enroll my son in an alcohol class in our state of SC and once he completes it then show the NC court? or would they only except a NC alcohol class?


 


And if they do put this on his record, but goes to a College/University in SC then will the SC College he applies to find out about his NC conviction?


***They say the applications will ask and you have to check yes or no to a conviction of this type and we think since it was not in SC he would check no. (But unsure??)

If he takes an alcohol class before his court date, it is really just to engender goodwill with the court and the prosecutor. It is possible that if the court was going to impose an alcohol class that the court will opt not to if he already took one, or that the out of state one will qualify, but there is no guarantee he won't have to take another one approved by the court. It is really just a gesture that some defendants take to show the court that they are addressing the issue that led to the crime.

As to the question about the conviction, it really depends on what the question is and how it is phrased and what happens with the current case. If he is convicted, and the question asks whether he has been convicted of a crime, it really doesn't matter what state it occurred in. A conviction is a conviction. If he is convicted and gets the record expunged or sealed, then he is usually entitled to say that he was not convicted. If he gets a disposition that does not result in a conviction, like diversion or a PJC, then he does not have to answer that he has been convicted. That is why it is generally in his best interests to try to request an outcome that does not result in a conviction so it doesn't come up again.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you for your patience with me but lastly....and this is probably a silly question...but while I was waiting on your response I quickly looked up alcohol classes in our area and only found this online class. This would work better for us anyway...but is it good to take an online class vs. a real class?


http://onlinealcoholclass.com/Home/Minor-In-Possession (look at this if you don't mind)


***and if you agree with the online course which one in hours would you suggest? I would prefer the 8 hour since its the least expensive, but I think the 12 hour is good too. (i don't know I am just nervous about this whole thing!!)

Since it is just something to show that he has made an effort to address the issue as opposed to fulfilling a court-required mandate, I don't think it matters one way or another. It is really just to give him some information about the issue and to show the court/prosecutor he has taken the initiative to educate himself.

 

I will say I don't know anything about that site and whether it is credible or reputable. If you have a family doctor you may want to ask them if they are familiar with any sort of alcohol education classes offered by any medical-type facilities in the area.

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Hammer O'Justice
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