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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 117371
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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My son was given a ticket for underage drinking - he is 19

Customer Question

my son was given a ticket for underage drinking - he is 19 and at his appt.
had a Party and police spoke to him about noise then asked if he had anything to drink - he said he had two beers. then gave him a citation just because he was honest. I was visiting my son at college and drank a few beers with him that evening after the football game - I am the one who allowed him to drink in a private residence so isn't this legal?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

So you are saying you were at this party when the police arrived and your son was consuming the alcohol in a private residence while you were physically present?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He was not consuming alcohol at that time - they just asked him if he had anything to drink. They were there on a noise complaint and saw kegs in hallway (not in his house). We were at his house and had a few beers with him but left around 10;30 pm and the police came at 12 midnight
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
the credit card I am using to pay keeps getting rejected - funds are there not sure why the site will not bill this.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
ok, the $5 was billed.
is there more information coming?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.

IF you are willing to go to court with him and testify to that under oath, that he only consumed beer in your presence, that would work better if there was no alcohol seen in the premises when the police arrived. Under VA Code Ann. § 4.1-305, it refers to unlawful possession as well. If it was not his house and you testify that he consumed alcohol in your presence that evening before the party and that is what he was referring to when he told the officer he had 2 beers, then the police cannot generally prove otherwise and the Commonwealth Attorney in most cases will dismiss the case against him.

Some credit card companies reject charges only because it is an online purchase and you need to check with your credit card company
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
ok, everyone who was at the party were allowed to leave and not questioned. SInce he lives there they wanted to speak to him or roomates, he volunteered and was very polite. Typically the police allow these college kids to go but I assume where not in a good mood that night - he was the only one who spoke to the police and the only one asked if he had been drinking. He did not specify a time that he had consumed the beer which was with his parents anyway.
The police di not come in to the apartment. Their were kegs in the hallway (not inside appt)but the police busted a party up next door and my son told the police that he wasn't sure who brought the kegs and who was drinking them. I plan to go to court - I also tried to reach out to the office that night but he never called me back.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.

I understand and there is a defense here. He has to plead not guilty and when you go to court he would need to ask for a conference with the Commonwealth Attorney and you would go in with him and explain what happened to the CA. As far as the police go, they were doing their job. He resided at the residence, they see alcohol at the residence, he admitted to having some beer, it is not up to the officer to discuss it with you or him at the scene it is a matter for you to deal with through the Commonwealth Attorney who makes those determinations. Generally, it is not the police officer who is liable for those determinations at the scene, it is for you to present to the court or the CA to show that you were there when he was drinking and the kegs of beer at a party in the hallway of a house he rents were not his and he did not drink from them.

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