North Carolina Students Cited for Underage Drinking

For many college students, underage drinking is simply part of the college experience. Students know that it is illegal to drink when under the age of 21, but few think twice about the fact that drinking at a house party or a frat party might have consequences beyond a hangover.

As 80 Wake Forest students discovered last month, though, underage drinking can have serious consequences. In mid-November, police were called to break up a large frat party and dozens of students were cited for underage drinking. In addition to the criminal charges, these students may face sanctions under the university's alcohol policy.

In North Carolina, someone who is caught with alcohol under the age of 21 can be charged as a Minor In Possession (MIP) of alcohol. An underage person who is in possession of alcohol may be accused of other crimes, as well. For example, it is a crime to use a fraudulent or altered drivers license to obtain alcohol. Those who help underage people obtain alcohol can be charged with "aiding and abetting" underage alcohol consumption under state laws.

Anytime someone is accused of a criminal offense related to alcohol, it is important to work with a knowledgeable criminal attorney. Even a misdemeanor conviction can have long-term consequences for a young adult seeking to finish college and begin a career.

In many cases, it is in an individual's best interest to challenge the charges. An experienced Raleigh criminal lawyer can help to ensure that an individual's rights and interests are protected. Even when the evidence is strong, the state may be willing to negotiate a plea bargain for a lesser offense or for the completion of a first-time offender program.

If you have been accused of underage drinking, speak with a North Carolina criminal lawyer before making any decisions to ensure that you understand your options.

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North Carolina vs. M.W.
Charge: Charge: Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon (4 Counts), First Degree Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon
Facing: 12 - 17 years in prison
Result: Dismissed

An incarcerated defendant accused our client of participating in the robbery of a group of youth at a party. We were able to raise doubt as to the credibility of this individual. In the end, the prosecutor dismissed these charges, citing a lack of evidence.