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Knoxville Underage Drinking Attorney

Knox County underage possession of alcohol defense attorney

Experienced Knox County Lawyer for Underage Alcohol Charges

In the state of Tennessee, it is unlawful for minors who are under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol. These laws have been put in place to protect young people from the risks associated with alcohol consumption and to promote public safety. However, there are still many situations where minors may attempt to purchase or obtain alcohol, and those who are found in possession of alcoholic beverages could potentially face criminal charges. Understanding how to defend against these charges can be a daunting prospect for minors who are caught up in the criminal justice system. Fortunately, by working with a criminal defense lawyer, they can determine their best options for avoiding a conviction or reducing the penalties they may face.

Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney works with minors and their parents to address issues related to underage alcohol possession or consumption, as well as other types of juvenile charges. We understand the complexities of these cases and the ways children can be affected by criminal records. We can work with families to determine the best options for defense, and we will do everything we can to help children avoid criminal convictions and other issues that could affect their futures.

Possible Consequences for Underage Possession or Consumption of Alcohol

If a person under the age of 21 is found to be in possession of alcoholic beverages or has attempted to purchase or otherwise obtain alcohol, they may face legal consequences. It is important for both parents and young adults themselves to understand the potential repercussions of a conviction for these types of charges.

Under Tennessee law, underage possession of alcohol can result in Class A misdemeanor charges. If convicted, this offense carries penalties that can include:

  • Fines: The court may impose fines up to $2,500.
  • Prison sentence: The court may sentence a person to up to 11 months and 29 days in prison. While minors may not receive the maximum sentence, they could be looking at jail time depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense.
  • Driver's license suspension: Following a conviction, a court will notify the Driver Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security that the minor's driving privileges should be denied. The Driver Services Division will then issue a suspension of the minor's driver's license. This suspension will typically remain in effect for one year following a first offense and two years following a second offense.
  • Community service: A minor may be required to complete a certain number of hours of service as part of their sentence.

Defenses Against Underage Alcohol Charges

For minors who have been arrested for underage drinking in Tennessee, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help them navigate the legal process effectively. An attorney will evaluate the specific details of a case and determine if any viable defenses may be available. Defenses that could potentially be used include:

  • Lack of evidence: The prosecution must provide sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a minor was in possession of alcohol. If there is no evidence that the minor had obtained or consumed alcohol, the charges may be dismissed.
  • Illegal search and seizure: If law enforcement conducted an unlawful search without obtaining a warrant or consent from a minor, any evidence obtained may be deemed inadmissible in court.
  • Mistaken identity: Underage drinking charges may be based on an error in identification. An attorney can help a minor determine whether evidence can be provided to show that they did not engage in underage drinking, such as witness testimony stating that they were in another location at the time of the alleged offense.

Contact Our Knoxville Underage Drinking Defense Lawyers

In cases where a person under the age of 21 is facing charges related to the possession or consumption of alcohol in Tennessee, it is essential to seek legal counsel. At Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, our team has extensive experience handling multiple types of criminal defense cases, and we work to protect the rights of young people who have been charged with alcohol-related offenses. We understand that these situations can have lasting consequences on a child's future opportunities.

We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding underage drinking charges, gather relevant evidence, interview witnesses if necessary, and build a strong defense strategy. We can provide guidance and representation during court proceedings, explaining all available options for resolving the charges against a minor.

We are dedicated to providing compassionate support while advocating for our clients' interests at all times. Contact us today by calling 865-281-1000 to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you navigate the legal system and work towards the best possible resolution for your case.

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