Penalties for Underage Drinking
Underage consumption of alcohol is a common charge, especially in university towns. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol.
Minor in Consumption is a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to four months in jail, $750 in fines (plus an 83% surcharge), and 2 years of probation. The court also has the discretion to impose community service and/or alcohol education/counseling/treatment requirements.
Some jurisdictions offer “second chance” vehicles for MIC charges. For example, with deferred prosecution or diversion agreements, the accused is given an opportunity to exhibit law abiding behavior for a probationary period and to complete other conditions in exchange for the State's dismissal of the charges.
If the alcohol was consumed in connection with the practice of a religious belief, as an integral part of a religious exercise, or for medical purposes, you may have a valid defense. However, the alcohol must nevertheless have been consumed “in a manner not dangerous to public health or safety."
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