Chicago Minor in Possession of Alcohol Attorneys
Illinois has strict laws regarding minors who consume or possess alcohol. If you or your child has been charged with minor in possession, criminal charges and a driver’s license suspension could result, even if there was no allegation of drinking while driving. This offense is unique among Illinois criminal laws in that even a sentence of supervision will generally suspend the offender’s driving license, even when a car was not involved at all.
Illinois law (235 ILCS 5/6-20) prohibits the possession and/or consumption of alcohol by individuals under 21 years of age. The Chicago criminal defense lawyers at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC represent clients charged with offenses associated with Illinois’ underage drinking lawyers, which are typically charged as “possession of alcohol by a minor.”
Those charged with minor in possession could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor offense. The penalties may include (note that some of these penalties are very rare for first-time offenders):
- Up to one year in jail
- A fine of up to $2,500
- Probation or Court Supervision for up to two years
- Conditional Discharge in which you will not have to report to anyone but would be required to obey all laws for a set period of time
- Restitution may be ordered if someone experienced financial loss as a result of your offense
- Community service may be ordered
- Work release might be allowed if you are sentenced to jail. In this arrangement, you would be released to work but would have to report back to jail during the time you are off work
- Home detention may be ordered instead of jail time. You would only be allowed to leave your house for work, school, and other approved visits
Other alcohol-related charges a minor may face include:
- Using fraudulent documents to obtain a fake ID for buying alcohol
- Using a fake ID to buy alcohol
- Transporting an open container in a vehicle
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Altering a driver’s license in an attempt to use it to buy alcohol
You should not consider pleading guilty to a minor in possession citation, ticket, ordinance violation or criminal charge until you first understand the consequences of being charged and pleading guilty to this misdemeanor. If you pay the fine, you may be pleading guilty to a misdemeanor crime that may be placed on your criminal record.
A guilty plea on your record can negatively affect your future, including your ability to get a job or get into college. Don’t put your future at risk. Contact Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today at (800) 996-4824.
At Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC, our Chicago minor in possession lawyers understand the intricacies of Illinois laws. We bring a successful history of positive results and 30 years of experience in the criminal defense of your case.
As your criminal defense lawyer, we will fight relentlessly to help you avoid the significant consequences of a minor in possession conviction. If your child has been arrested for this offense, we understand what a stressful experience it can be for your family. Our firm is ready to help you navigate the complicated legal process and ensure that you or your child’s rights are protected along the way. Our Chicago criminal defense attorneys have been helping young adults from across Illinois since 1990. Allow us to fight to get your possession or consumption charge reduced or dismissed. Don’t delay. Call (800) 996-4824 now.
Do we Need a Lawyer if Charged With Possession?
By hiring a skilled and experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to avoid the penalties for minor in possession. While it may seem like your least expensive option is to plead guilty and forgo the cost of hiring an attorney, it’s important to consider that the costs of a criminal conviction will often far outweigh your investment in a qualified criminal defense lawyer. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney will be able to help secure the best outcome possible.
While no two such cases are exactly alike, there are some common defenses to these charges, including:
- Inability to prove reasonable doubt - Finding of guilt in a possession case will depend on the prosecutor’s ability to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. While there may be no doubt as to your age, your attorney might be able to demonstrate that there is a reasonable possibility that the substance you possessed was not alcohol or that you did not have the alcohol in your possession.
- Suppression of evidence - If the police found alcohol in your possession after stopping you without probable cause, they may have violated your rights. Prosecutors cannot use evidence against someone if it was obtained illegally or in violation of their rights. A defense attorney will examine the police reports and evidence against you to determine whether filing a motion to suppress the prosecution’s evidence is feasible.
- Use of a defense that negates criminal liability - When you use a defense known as an affirmative defense, you admit that you possessed the alcohol as a minor but argue that you were legally justified in possessing it. In Illinois, minors are allowed to possess or consume alcohol under the supervision of a parent in a private home or during a religious service such as communion. You also could have consumed the alcohol legally in a state that allows minors under the age of 21 to drink, and then crossed the border into Illinois.
- Negotiation with the prosecution - A skilled lawyer can help you get the most out of a guilty plea or deferred prosecution agreement. By negotiating with the prosecutor, your attorney can help you secure the least serious penalties, including a court supervision program.
- Coercion or lack of knowledge - Other potential defenses could include that you were coerced to drink alcohol, such as in fraternity hazing, or that the beverage you drank was not even alcoholic. You could also potentially argue that you did not have knowledge of the alcohol found in the home or vehicle where you were present.
If you or your child has been charged with minor in possession, secure legal counsel as soon as you can. A lawyer may be able to analyze your case and build a defense that could allow the charges to be reduced or even dismissed. The sooner your attorney begins working on your case, the better your chances of obtaining a positive resolution.
Why Choose Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC to Handle My Case?
For three decades, Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC has been defending people in Chicago and other Illinois cities charged with minor in possession and other criminal offenses. Since 1990, we have been fighting to protect the rights of minors. Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC strives to provide the absolute best legal services to those who have been charged with a crime or other offenses. We strive to treat clients as if they were family. Our team of highly skilled lawyers serve Chicago, surrounding areas and much of Illinois. Over 20,000 clients have put their trust in us and have expressed great satisfaction in our services over the last 30 years.
Attorney Mitchell S. Sexner, founder of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC, holds an “AV Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Only a small percentage of all lawyers in the United States hold this prestigious designation. Mr. Sexner has been recognized by “Who’s Who” in American Law, named to The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Attorneys, and has been admitted to the U.S. District Courts in Illinois, Hawaii, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Contact a Chicago Minor in Possession Lawyer
When you hire Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC to take on your possession or consumption case, we take that responsibility seriously. Our team of Chicago criminal defense lawyers understands that being accused of a crime can be very stressful and difficult. We treat our clients with compassion and work hard to ease their burdens throughout the legal process. It’s an honor and a privilege when you allow us to advocate on you or your child’s behalf, and we will fight tirelessly to achieve a favorable result for you. If you or your child are facing a charge in Illinois, contact the Chicago crimes by minors attorneys today at (800) 996-4824 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.