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More Underage Drinking Charges in D.C. Greet Returning College Students

by | Aug 17, 2011

It’s as regular as cherry blossoms in springtime or the year’s first snowfall: Authorities will be increasing enforcement as students return to classes, leading to an increased risk of underage consumption charges in Washington D.C. or drunk driving charges in the District or the greater metro area.

Consulting a Washington D.C. defense lawyer is an important first step. Too often, a student’s focus is on keeping the arrest from their parents; sometimes they mistakenly believe a quick guilty plea is the best option for putting the incident behind them. We believe that’s a mistake. Probation and community service can require your presence during the summer months or over holiday breaks. In the case of a DUI, skyrocketing insurance premiums are a dead giveaway. And having to disclose the conviction on job applications for years to come can impact your ability to launch your career and may even make it difficult to obtain certain occupational licenses.

Beyond the criminal penalties, the social ramifications of alcohol offenses continue to increase with each passing year. For those with a DUI conviction, travel to Canada may be restricted! And a criminal conviction can impact your ability to obtain certain forms of student financial aid or government assistance.

Universities returning to class in the coming weeks include American University (9,100 students), Catholic University of America (6,000), Corcoran College of Art & Design (450), Gallaudet University (1,400), George Washington University (22,000), Georgetown University (12,500) and Howard University, (11,000).

Along with DUI charges, underage consumption and charges associated with using fake I.D.s will be common through the fall. Those convicted of underage consumption in Washington D.C. face a $300 fine and a 90-day suspension of their driving privileges. Students may face additional discipline through the university if they are convicted.

An experienced D.C. defense attorney may be able to negotiate community service, diversion on your behalf. This will permit you to complete a community service commitment in exchange for a dismissal of the charges. A deferred prosecution agreement or a deferred sentencing agreement may also leave you without a criminal record.

If you are facing underage drinking charges, DUI, or Fake ID charges in Washington D.C. or the surrounding area, contact Scrofano Law, PC for a free consultation by calling (202) 765-3175 or by filling out an online contact form. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards are accepted.