School is back in session, and that means college students are back to studying during the week and having a good time on the weekend. Whether it’s a Gopher football game or a friend’s house party, oftentimes these activities involve alcohol, and if you aren’t of age, you can end up in trouble if the police make an appearance.
A lot of college students who are cited for underage possession or consumption just want the ticket to go away, so they pay the fine or go to court and plead guilty, but that might not be your best move. Below, we explain what options you have if you received an underage drinking ticket at the University of Minnesota.
Underage Consumption Ticket in Minnesota
There are a number of different alcohol-related violations that you can receive during your college years. Some of them include:
- Underage possession of alcohol
- Underage consumption of alcohol
- Public intoxication
- Using a fake ID to procure alcohol
For the purpose of this piece, we’re going to focus on the first two charges, underage possession and consumption of alcohol. For more information on fake ID-related crimes, check out this piece.
Underage possession charges and underage drinking tickets may not seem like a big deal, especially considering they are only categorized as misdemeanor offenses, but that’s not exactly true. A misdemeanor is punishable by fines up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. While first time offenders won’t usually face jail time, there’s no certainty that it will happen, and being stuck in jail can disrupt your academics or your employment.
Aside from missing school or work because you are stuck in jail or dealing with court appearances, underage drinking violations can also affect your standing with the university. If you are in university housing, the Dean of Students or a housing committee may take action against you. They may kick you out of university housing and require you find off campus accommodations. Again, this is rare that it would happen after the first incident, but know that it’s in play. If this is a subsequent violation, don’t be surprised if at a minimum you have you meet with the university in order to state your case as to why you should be allowed to stay in the dorms or university-provided housing.
So with so much at stake, it is certainly in your best interests to at least talk to a lawyer about your options. We offer free case reviews, and if contesting the violation with a lawyer doesn’t make financial sense for either party, we’ll let you know. But if jail time and university sanctions are on the table, you need all the professional help you can get.
At Appelman Law Firm, we have a wealth of experience helping college students with alcohol-related crimes and other common college crimes. So if you want to sit down with a lawyer, talk about your options and come up with a defense plan, click here to set up that free meeting. Or better yet, give us a call at (952) 244-2277.