Underage Drinking Criminal Charge Dismissed at Trial
Whether you are college student at Rutgers, Princeton, TCNJ, Fairleigh Dickinson, Rowan, Montclair State, Kean, Stockton, Rider, Rowan or Monmouth University or you are down at the Jersey Shore enjoying the weather, the criminal charge for underage consumption of alcohol is the same. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2c:33-15, consumption or possession of alcohol by a minor is a serious offense. The charge is a disorderly persons offense that carries up to six months in County Jail, up to a $1,000 fine, possible probation, and, most importantly, a criminal record.
However, there is an affirmative defense available under this charge known in certain circumstances. Contact the New Jersey criminal defense attorneys to find out if we can help get your criminal charges for consumption or possession of alcohol by a minor. With former prosecutors on staff, our firm has the resources necessary to handle your case.
Recently, my firm handled a matter on behalf of two New Jersey College Students. Each of these student had consumed alcohol during the evening in questions. At a certain point, one of our clients fell ill and the other defendant called 9-1-1 to come provide medical assistance to the ill student. Thankfully, the student who had fallen ill was treated and recovered shortly thereafter. However, police still charge d each of these two students criminally for underage possession and consumption of alcohol, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15. These two student reached out to our firm in hopes of obtaining legal counsel to fight against these charges. Through careful research and motion practice, we were able to apply the affirmative defense to these students’ case at trial. The result? A dismissal on each charge for both of our clients. Not only did this save our clients time and money, but it also helped to keep their criminal record clean for the foreseeable future.
If you were charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15 and would like help getting your charges dismissed, call the New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys today.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15(f), defendants charged with this offense are afforded an affirmative defense, commonly referred to as the Good Samaritan Defense, if they satisfy the following requirements:
- f. An underage person and one or two other persons shall be immune from prosecution under this section if:
- one of the underage persons called 9-1-1 and reported that another underage person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption;
- the underage person who called 9-1-1 and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who called 9-1-1 provided each of their names to the 9-1-1 operator;
- the underage person was the first person to make the 9-1-1 report; and
- the underage person and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who made the 9-1-1 call remained on the scene with the person under the legal age in need of medical assistance until assistance arrived and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel on the scene.
The underage person who received medical assistance also shall be immune from prosecution under this section.
In layman terms, this means that to be protected, you or another person must 1) Call 9-1-1; 2) Wait for, and cooperate with, law enforcement; 3) be the first person to call 9-1-1. Theoretically, this statute doesn’t even require that medical assistance be provided. Rather, the law only mandates that you call and “report” that this person needs medical assistance. Whether or not the necessity for medical assistance was factual or not may subject to other laws.