Seemingly small mistakes can add up to legal problems. In April, a 19-year-old man from New Hampshire was charged with disorderly conduct, shoplifting, and consumption of alcohol by a minor. He shoplifted about $7 worth of snacks. An officer located the young man and observed intoxication. He was arrested.
According to New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-81, a minor can’t purchase or knowingly consume alcohol. It’s illegal for a minor to enter an establishment that’s licensed to sell alcohol if he or she intends or attempts to purchase alcohol, consume alcohol on the premises, or ask an adult to attempt to buy alcohol for the minor on these premises according to New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-17b:
- If found guilty of underage possession or consumption of alcohol, he faces fines of $250 for a first offense or $350 for subsequent offenses, driver’s license suspension for six months, and report of the violation to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
- If found guilty of entering an establishment that serves alcohol or misrepresenting his age to obtain alcohol (a civil disorderly individual offense), the violator faces minimum fines of $500, driver’s license confiscation, license suspension, and report of the violation to New Jersey and New Hampshire Departments of Motor Vehicles.
- The state of New Jersey can’t collect the violator’s license from a non-New Jersey resident. However, the court submits its reports to the New Jersey DMV, which then notifies the appropriate authorities in the state in which the offender is licensed of the driver’s license suspension period.
Additional penalties may be imposed if the offender operates a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license. In addition to fines and license suspension, a judge may require the minor offender to participate in authorized alcohol treatment and education programs which cannot exceed the applicable license suspension or jail term periods.
Take action now. If you or someone you love has been arrested for disorderly conduct, shoplifting, or consumption of alcohol by a minor, you need assistance from a qualified criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Jill R. Cohen, a board-certified criminal attorney, stands ready to fight at your side. Contact us today to schedule a confidential case evaluation.