Underage Drinking/Alcohol on College Campuses

One of the most common acts that can cause a student to face criminal charges is situations that involve a student drinking underage. Colleges often become places for students to engage in binge drinking or partying, especially if they are involved in fraternity or sorority organizations. Students caught in possession or consumption of alcohol may face criminal charges, and will also likely get into a bit of trouble with their college as well. Criminal consequences and administrative consequences from a student's university can endanger a student's career and academic achievement goals.

Common Types of Crimes Involving Alcohol

There are a number of different types of criminal charges that a student can face that involve alcohol. Some common alcohol crimes that are common college campuses can include:

  • Underage Drinking: It is illegal for any person under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. Doing so can result in arrest and charges.
  • DUI: For students who have their cars on campus, they may be charged with a DUI if they drive while consuming alcohol. For students under the age of 21, DUI charges can be incredibly serious matters.
  • Underage Possession Of Alcohol: It is against the law for a person under the age of 21 to be in possession of alcohol. This is especially the case on a college campus, where many individuals may have large cases of beer, kegs, or bottles of alcohol.
  • Purchasing Alcohol For A Minor: Students over the age of 21 who purchase alcohol for a minor can be charged with a crime, and may also face repercussions from their university, as well.

Under Pennsylvania law, underage consumption or possession of alcohol is a summary offense. Sentencing may consist of fines that increase with each consecutive violation. A defense to these charges may be used when an underage student has consumed alcohol, though they remain with another person who is experiencing a medical emergency.

How Will This Affect My Standing With My College?

When a student is charged with underage drinking or another alcohol related crime, they will have a complex situation on their hands with the law alone. Unfortunately, campus police and city police often provide information to each other and the university. Local authorities will provide their information to the college or university, who will then use this information against the student.

Students accused of underage drinking or possession of alcohol may face a number of consequences from their academic institution. Some potential consequences may include:

  • Loss Of Housing Privileges
  • Warnings
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

The severity of the sanctioning that the student faces will depend heavily on the situation, and what the end results of the situation were. Underage drinking can significantly impair a person's judgment and may lead to even more potential violations, which the college and local authorities may consider in a student's case.

Pennsylvania Student Defense Attorney | New Jersey Student Defense Attorney

When a student faces trouble with the law or their university, they will often be fighting a battle on two different fronts. A student will likely have to defend themselves against their criminal charges, while also attempting to maintain good standing with their academic institution. An experienced attorney can defend a student both in court and their college disciplinary hearings.

If you or your student is facing underage drinking accusations, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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