Generally speaking, when you turn eighteen years of age the law in most states says that you are an adult. You may make your own decisions and be responsible for your own actions. But you may not drink alcohol. Not only may you not drink alcohol, you may not purchase it or even hold a can of beer for someone else, opened or unopened, in public or in private.
Minor in possession of alcohol is a criminal offense that carries fines of up to $2500, up to 12 months in jail, mandatory alcohol counseling, and suspension of your driver's license for up to 6 months. If this charge is your first alcohol related offense, and you have no other criminal record, a criminal defense attorney in Virginia can usually present your case to the judge in a way that allows you to perform community service and participate in alcohol counseling in exchange for a dismissal of the charges.
A criminal defense attorney will also be able to listen to your story and advise you whether to plead guilty or not guilty. While many people don't enjoy the fact, those charged with crimes are happy to have cases on technical issues. Underage possession of alcohol charges, like every other criminal charge, has detailed legal elements, and each element must be proven before a judge may find someone guilty of the charge. To many people underage possession of alcohol may seem to be minor; however, it is again a misdemeanor criminal charge that is equivalent to a firearm, DUI, assault, brandishing and larceny.
When faced with the charge of underage possession of alcohol, or any other misdemeanor or felony criminal charge, you should always consult with a criminal defense lawyer about your case. Criminal attorneys are experts on the law and can advise you as to your rights and how you should proceed. Even if your best option is to enter a guilty plea, an attorney will ensure that you receive fair treatment and the best possible outcome to your case.