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Underage Drinking Attorney in Santa Cruz, California

Underage drinking is a substantial issue we're grappling with here in the United States. It's startling to realize that nearly half of all teenagers have tasted alcohol by the time they turn 15, and that number jumps to over 70% by age 18.  

The law takes a firm stand on this, criminalizing the possession and consumption of alcohol by those who haven't yet reached the legal drinking age. 

The penalties can be severe. We're talking about suspension of a driver's license, fines, mandatory enrollment in educational classes, potential alcohol dependency treatment, and community service.  

Despite the stern consequences, most states, including California, focus on rehabilitation rather than strict punishment for minors in possession of alcohol. 

But no matter what, a lawyer can be an invaluable ally if a minor is ever charged with underage drinking. As a dedicated student conduct defense lawyer in California, I bring extensive knowledge and experience to the table when it comes to defending minors facing charges of underage drinking.  

I've seen firsthand the unique challenges and potential consequences that underage drinking cases can present to a student's future. And I'm committed to helping you keep your life on track by advocating for the fair result you deserve. Contact me today to get skilled, creative representation.  

What You Need to Know About Underage Drinking Laws

Across the U.S., it's illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase or publicly possess alcohol. This national law has been in place since 1984, but individual states have some latitude in how they enforce it. Some states focus more on rehabilitation rather than strict punishment, and others have exceptions for situations like parental supervision or religious ceremonies. 

In California, these laws get even more specific. Here, it's not just illegal for someone under 21 to buy alcohol—it's also illegal to possess it in any public place, unless they're in the company of a responsible adult. So even holding a friend's drink could potentially land you in hot water. 

But it's not all doom and gloom. It's worth re-mentioning that the focus in California, as in many other states, is largely on prevention and rehabilitation. There are numerous resources available to help minors who are struggling with alcohol use, and the legal system often takes a rehabilitative approach to first-time offenders. 

That's why it's so important to have an attorney like me, Andrew C. Janecki, in your corner if you or your child are facing underage drinking charges. At the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki, located in Santa Cruz and serving clients throughout Palo Alto, San Jose, San Francisco, and Berkeley, I'm here to help guide you through the legal maze and advocate for you every step of the way. 

For Compassionate Advocacy

Common Defense Strategies

Defending against underage drinking charges requires a deep understanding of the law and a strong strategy.  

  1. Lack of Evidence: The prosecution has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were in possession of alcohol or consuming it. If they lack concrete evidence, such as eyewitness testimony or physical proof, you could argue for the charges to be dropped. 

  1. Violation of Rights: If the police didn't follow proper procedure during your arrest, it might constitute a violation of your rights. For instance, if they searched your property without a warrant or probable cause, you could challenge the legality of the evidence obtained. 

  1. Mistaken Identity: At times, mistakes can happen, especially in crowded environments like parties or concerts. If you can prove that you were wrongly identified as the person drinking or possessing alcohol, this could be a strong defense. 

  1. The Alcohol Wasn't Yours: Just because you were near alcohol doesn't mean it was yours. If you can demonstrate that you weren't the owner of the alcohol found, this could mitigate the charges. 

  1. Participation in a Rehabilitation Program: Some courts may look favorably on minors who proactively enroll in alcohol education or rehabilitation programs. This shows the court that you're taking responsibility for your actions and making efforts to improve. 

I Provide a Personalized Approach

While there are common strategies that could apply to your case, an experienced lawyer's insight can make all the difference.  

I'll work closely with you and your family to gather evidence, construct a robust defense, and advocate for your rights throughout the entire legal process. My ultimate goal is always the same - to minimize the impact of the charges and help you move forward with your life.

Underage Drinking Attorney in Santa Cruz, California 

At the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki, located in Santa Cruz and serving clients throughout Palo Alto, San Jose, San Francisco, and Berkeley, I'm here to help. Your future is too important to let it slip away. I’m confident that we can find a way to mitigate your penalties. Let's handle this together. Contact my firm today.