Minor in Consumption of Alcohol

Are you under the age of 21 and accused of consuming alcohol?

In order to legally consume alcohol, you must be at least 21 years of age. Anyone under that age is considered a "minor" by Kansas law (particularly in these types of situations) and therefore becomes vulnerable to adjudication or conviction. Just because a young person is accused of underage alcohol consumption doesn't make that individual is a bad person—he or she might have simply made a mistake due to peer pressure, or the situation might have simply arisen out of a misunderstanding or out of false allegations. Whatever your circumstances are, it is in your best interests to work with a capable criminal defense attorney after receiving such allegations. At Gigstad Law Office, LLC, we have a competent Overland Park criminal defense lawyer who can help you challenge your accusers in court. With our law firm's help, you might be able to avoid being adjudicated or convicted, which means you could avoid having this criminal offense on your record.

Kansas Law on Underage Drinking

Under Kansas law (K.S.A. §41-727), individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from consuming alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverages, unless it is authorized due to certain legal exceptions. Individuals who are found guilty of this offense can be subject to expensive fines and other penalties. Underage drinking is considered a juvenile crime for individuals who are under the age of 18. Upon adjudication, these individuals can receive a fine valuing between $200 and $500. If the offender is at least 18 years old but younger than 21 years old, he or she can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and sentenced to a fine of $200, upon conviction.

Other possible penalties include 40 hours of public service, the order to complete program that teaches about the effects of alcohol and other substances and a driver's license suspension. The offender can receive a 30-day suspension for a first-time offense, a 90-day suspension for a second-time offense and a one-year suspension for a third-time or subsequent offense.

It is important for individuals under the age of 21 to know that they can actually be at risk of facing a more serious offense if they are shown to have operated a vehicle after consuming alcohol. This could result in the individual being charged with an underage DUI charge rather than a charge for minor in consumption of alcohol. According to Kansas' statutes, a law enforcement officer can request a person who is under age 21 to take a preliminary breath test if that officer suspects the individual to have been driving and driving. DUI penalties are more severe than the penalties given for underage drinking.

Defense Strategies

When you turn to our law firm, we look closely at all the details of your case, including any evidence that prosecution is likely to use against you. We look at whether law enforcement officers carried out the correct procedures in searching you and your property and in making an arrest. If they did not, this can potentially help you get your case dismissed. We also help you explore your various defense options and use the ones that provide you with the greatest benefit. Here are a few defenses that we might be able to use to get you acquitted of your charges, or to get them dismissed or reduced:

  • You possessed the alcohol but never actually consumed it.
  • You were near the alcohol, but you neither possessed it nor consumed it.
  • The beverage you consumed did not contain alcohol.
  • You consumed the beverage but had no way of knowing that is was alcoholic.
  • You were mistaken for someone else who was drinking the alcohol.
  • You had parental permission and supervision.

Contact Our Overland Park Criminal Defense Attorney

While this might be a very stressful time for you, it is important to remember that there is help available. We can provide you with a free consultation so that you can receive initial legal advice free of charge. After learning more about your case, you can decide what your best options are for moving forward. We work hard to aggressively protect our clients' rights. Contact our firm today!

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