An alcohol offense is a criminal act involving alcohol that is punishable by law. These criminal acts can involve illegal possession, transportation or consumption.
Alcohol offenses are common charges and at Rosenthal & Wadas, we have successfully represented many clients against charges related to alcohol offenses, including some of the most common charges such as public intoxication, disorderly conduct, minor in possession of alcohol, DUI Minor, consumption by a minor and furnishing alcohol to a minor.
One of our experienced Collin County criminal defense attorneys can review your case and determine if there are any factual defenses, or legal defenses such as suppression issues, and help you resolve your case, whether that is through a trial, plea or other arrangement. Our number one goal in representing clients in alcohol offense is to assist the client in avoiding a conviction. We also will advise you about possibly unforeseen consequences such as the possibility of a driver’s license suspension.
While most alcohol offenses are only misdemeanors, they are still criminal charges and a conviction can follow a person for years. A criminal record may affect a job application, internship, housing application, graduate/law school admission, or cause a driver’s license suspension, among other consequences.
Other Alcohol Related Charges
Driving Under the Influence in Collin County
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Texas is where a person under the age of 21 is operating a motor vehicle and has consumed any amount of alcohol, which is detectable. Just because a person is a minor, however, doesn’t mean they can’t be charged with DWI instead of DUI.
Other states may refer to a DUI as what we in Texas call DWI, but don’t let this distinction confuse you.
A DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor that is punishable by fine only. There is also the possibility for the minor arrested for DUI to have the arrest expunged from their record.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol
It is illegal for a minor to possess alcohol under Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code Section 106.05. This charge is also known as an “MIP” or Minor in Possession.
A Minor in Possession is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine.
Exceptions to the law are where minor is working in the course and scope of employment by a licensee or permittee; in the visible presence of an adult parent, guardian, or spouse or other adult whom has been committed by a court; or under the immediate supervision of a peace officer enforcing these laws.
If your child has been charged with a Minor in Possession, contact Rosenthal & Wadas, PLLC today to make sure that this mistake doesn’t stay on their record.
Public Intoxication in Collin County
Public intoxication (PI) is legally defined as where a person appears in a public place and is intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.
A person must be even more intoxicated than they would be for a DWI arrest to get a PI charge. This is because intoxication is defined under the penal code for DWI when a person “does not have the normal use of their mental or physical faculties…”
Many PI arrests occur where police are attempting to get control of a group-situation such as closing time at a bar, at a party, or during a public gathering where alcohol is being served.
The highly subjective nature of what it means to be “intoxicated to the degree the person may endanger the person or another,” allows police tons of latitude in making selective arrests in an attempt to control a larger crowd.
Fortunately, there are many ways to clear a PI charge from your record. It is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by fine of up to $500 only.
Sale of Alcohol to Minors
It is common for police and other law enforcement to conduct sting operations to see if convenience stores, restaurants and other establishments sell alcohol to minors.
A person commits the offense of sale of alcohol to minors if, with criminal negligence, they sell an alcoholic beverage to a minor.
It is a defense to prosecution where a minor falsely holds themselves out as being over the age of 21 with a fake driver’s license with a picture “consistent with the minor’s appearance,” purports to be over 21 and issued by a governmental agency.
Sale of alcohol to a minor is a Class A Misdemeanor, but just as importantly can carry serious immigration consequences if the accused is not a citizen of the United States.
Contact our Collin County Alcohol Offense Lawyers today
If you have been charged with an alcohol related charge contact Rosenthal & Wadas for a free consultation to review your case.