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What Happens if I Am Arrested for Underage Drinking in West Lafayette, Indiana?

Minor consumption of alcohol is the number one reason Purdue students are arrested or ticketed throughout the week-long celebration of Grand Prix in West Lafayette, Indiana. With the heavy presence of law enforcement, including undercover excise police, there are increased opportunities for students to go out with their friends and wind up in jail.  

Being arrested can be scary. But trying to handle a criminal case on your own can lead to even worse consequences. Alcohol-related arrests at Purdue can lead to a criminal record and university discipline. A criminal record could also affect your job prospects. If you have been arrested in West Lafayette during Grand Prix, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before your initial hearing.  Were your rights violated during the police encounter? Is the breath test result admissible in court? Were your Miranda rights read before any interrogation? An experienced criminal defense attorney can identify weaknesses in the State’s case and attack the evidence.

  Underage Drinking and Minor in Possession: What You Should Know in West Lafayette, Indiana.

  1. Illegal consumption of alcohol, illegal possession of alcohol, and illegal transportation of an alcoholic beverage on a public highway are all Class C misdemeanor criminal offenses.  A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.    
  2. If you were issued a ticket or citation, this does not mean your case is any less serious than someone who was arrested and taken to jail. It means the police could have taken you to jail but chose not to.
  3. When you are arrested or ticketed, your paperwork will have a time and date for you to appear in court for an initial hearing. The initial hearing may conflict with your class or work schedule. However, in Tippecanoe County, an attorney can appear at this hearing on your behalf.
  4. It may be possible to resolve your case with no conviction on your record. This can happen by attacking the evidence and getting the charges dismissed; or, by negotiating a diversion agreement.
  5. The offense of minor consumption of alcohol is eligible for expungement. You may be eligible to expunge your case as soon as a year after the date of the offense, if you avoid a conviction.

Should I Hire an Attorney if I Am Charged with Underage Drinking in West Lafayette?

It is almost always a mistake to appear in court without a lawyer. While students may have friends that that want to give “legal” advice, criminal charges can carry long-run consequences. There are numerous benefits to hiring an attorney when you are charged with underage drinking.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the evidence in your case and determine whether you have any viable defenses.  An attorney who has handled hundreds of minor consuming cases knows how to leverage the facts to seek the best possible outcome, including avoiding a driver’s license suspension.

Lafayette, Indiana Criminal Attorneys: Defending Purdue Students Arrested at Grand Prix

Gibson Law Office has defended Purdue students for 15 years in underage drinking and marijuana charges, including in university disciplinary proceedings.  Our criminal defense attorneys always offer a free consultation. If you are charged with a crime, don’t you want an experienced legal team on your side?