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Unlawful Underage Purchase of Alcohol with an Altered or Fake Identification

Unlawful Underage Purchase of Alcohol with an Altered or Fake Identification

In Virginia, using or attempting to use altered or fake identification for underage purchase, possession or consumption of alcohol is a Class 1 misdemeanor - the most serious class of Virginia misdemeanor criminal offenses, carrying among other things a maximum $2,500 fine and a maximum of 12 months incarceration.  Such a criminal conviction carries not only the immediate consequences outlined below, but it also follows you throughout your life...college applications, job applications, loan applications, etc.  

We are experienced Virginia criminal defense attorneys who will aggressively defend your rights and fight your charges and, where appropriate, negotiate the best outcome for your circumstances.  Don't make the mistake of trying to go it alone without hiring a lawyer.

Call us today for a free case evaluation at 1-888-384-5997.

First Offender - Deferred Finding Without A Guilty Adjudication

Having a criminal conviction can be a permanent, life altering event. 

 

Depending upon your case, if you are a first time offender (not previously convicted of underage purchase, possession or consumption in any state) and you are willing to undergo alcohol education or treatment programs, you may be eligible for a deferred finding without a guilty adjudication.  Also, depending upon your circumstances, you may be required to have your driver's license suspended from 6 months to one year, with the possibility of a restricted operator's license.

 

As a first time offender client, we may be able to persuade the prosecutor and court to proceed with a deferred finding.  In short, the court may defer your proceedings for a period of time where you are placed on probation with conditions such as a license suspension and entry into alcohol education or treatment programs.   Upon fulfillment of those conditions, the court discharges you and dismisses the charges without an adjudication of guilt.  The biggest caveat is that upon any violation of those conditions, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt.  Also, if later charged for an alleged offense under this same code section, the prior discharge and dismissal will be treated as a prior conviction, i.e., you may no longer be eligible for a deferred finding.     

Potential Penalties

As mentioned above, underage purchase, possession or consumption of alcohol is a Class 1 Misdemeanor that carries a maximum fine of $2,500 and maximum incarceration of 12 months.

 

A person found guilty of this charge faces:

(i) a minimum fine of $500 or will perform minimum 50 hours community service as a condition of probation; 

(ii) if 18 or older, a license suspension of 6 months up to 1 year; 

a. The court may authorize a restricted permit upon a demonstration of hardship. The restricted permit, if court approved, may allow for travel to and from the following: 

i. Place of Employment;
ii. Alcohol rehabilitation and safety program;
iii. During hours of employment, if operation of motor vehicle is a necessary incident of such employment;
iv. School, if student;
v. Health care services, including medically necessary transportation of elderly parent
vi. School, daycare and medical facilities where travel is necessary to transport minor child;
vii. Court ordered visitation with your child;
viii. Court appearances where you are party or a subpoenaed witness, meetings with probation officer, and programs required under court order or probation;
ix. Certain drug programs;
x. Place of religious worship one day per week at a specified time;
xi. Jail. 

b. If a restricted permit is authorized, the court may require you to be monitored by the alcohol safety action program or supervised by local community based probation services. 

(iii) Juvenile (under 18 years of age) offenders 

a. Finding of Guilt. 

i. Denial of driving privileges for a period of 6 months with the possibility of a restricted license; 

1. If under age of 16 years and 3 months, must wait an additional 6 months after reaching the age 16 years, 3 months before applying for a driver's license; 

ii. May be referred to appropriate rehabilitative or education services. 

b. First Time Offender - Deferred Finding without Guilty Adjudication 

i. If a first time offender and finding of having purchased, possessed or consumed alcohol, the court may be persuaded to impose a license sanction and defer disposition of the case until child fulfills the terms and conditions prescribed by court and after child's license is restored, at which time court may discharge child and dismiss the case without an adjudication of guilt. 

1. Failure of child to fulfill conditions results in finding of guilt (delinquency). 
 

§ 4.1-305.  Underage Purchase, Possession or Consumption of Alcohol.  (or link to code section, if optimizes...)

A. No person to whom an alcoholic beverage may not lawfully be sold under § 4.1-304 shall consume, purchase or possess, or attempt to consume, purchase or possess, any alcoholic beverage, except (i) pursuant to subdivisions 1 through 7 of §4.1-200; (ii) where possession of the alcoholic beverages by a person less than 21 years of age is due to such person's making a delivery of alcoholic beverages in pursuance of his employment or an order of his parent; or (iii) by any state, federal, or local law-enforcement officer when possession of an alcoholic beverage is necessary in the performance of his duties. Such person may be prosecuted either in the county or city in which the alcohol was possessed or consumed, or in the county or city in which the person exhibits evidence of physical indicia of consumption of alcohol. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of this subsection if the defendant shows that such consumption or possession was pursuant to subdivision 7 of § 4.1-200.

B. No person under the age of 21 years shall use or attempt to use any (i) altered, fictitious, facsimile or simulated license to operate a motor vehicle, (ii) altered, fictitious, facsimile or simulated document, including, but not limited to a birth certificate or student identification card, or (iii) motor vehicle operator's license, birth certificate or student identification card of another person in order to establish a false identification or false age for himself to consume, purchase or attempt to consume or purchase an alcoholic beverage.

C. Any person found guilty of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor; and upon conviction, (i) such person shall be ordered to pay a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or ordered to perform a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service as a condition of probation supervision and (ii) the license to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of any such person age 18 or older shall be suspended for a period of not less than six months and not more than one year; the license to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of any juvenile shall be handled in accordance with the provisions of § 16.1-278.9. The court, in its discretion and upon a demonstration of hardship, may authorize an adult convicted of a violation of this section the use of a restricted permit to operate a motor vehicle in accordance with the provisions of subsection E of § 18.2-271.1 or when referred to a local community-based probation services agency established pursuant to Article 9 (§ 9.1-173 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1. During the period of license suspension, the court may require an adult who is issued a restricted permit under the provisions of this subsection to be (a) monitored by an alcohol safety action program, or (b) supervised by a local community-based probation services agency established pursuant to Article 9 (§ 9.1-173 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, if one has been established for the locality. The alcohol safety action program or local community-based probation services agency shall report to the court any violation of the terms of the restricted permit, the required alcohol safety action program monitoring or local community-based probation services and any condition related thereto or any failure to remain alcohol-free during the suspension period.

D. Any alcoholic beverage purchased or possessed in violation of this section shall be deemed contraband and forfeited to the Commonwealth in accordance with § 4.1-338.

E. Any retail licensee who in good faith promptly notifies the Board or any state or local law-enforcement agency of a violation or suspected violation of this section shall be accorded immunity from an administrative penalty for a violation of §4.1-304.

F. When any adult who has not previously been convicted of underage consumption, purchase or possession of alcoholic beverages in Virginia or any other state or the United States is before the court, the court may, upon entry of a plea of guilty or not guilty, if the facts found by the court would justify a finding of guilt of a violation of subsection A, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused, defer further proceedings and place him on probation subject to appropriate conditions. Such conditions may include the imposition of the license suspension and restricted license provisions in subsection C. However, in all such deferred proceedings, the court shall require the accused to enter a treatment or education program or both, if available, that in the opinion of the court best suits the needs of the accused. If the accused is placed on local community-based probation, the program or services shall be located in any of the judicial districts served by the local community-based probation services agency or in any judicial district ordered by the court when the placement is with an alcohol safety action program. The services shall be provided by (i) a program licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, (ii) certified by the Commission on VASAP, or (iii) by a program or services made available through a community-based probation services agency established pursuant to Article 9 (§ 9.1-173 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, if one has been established for the locality. When an offender is ordered to a local community-based probation services rather than the alcohol safety action program, the local community-based probation services agency shall be responsible for providing for services or referring the offender to education or treatment services as a condition of probation.

Upon violation of a condition, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. Upon fulfillment of the conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against him without an adjudication of guilt. A discharge and dismissal hereunder shall be treated as a conviction for the purpose of applying this section in any subsequent proceedings.

When any juvenile is found to have committed a violation of subsection A, the disposition of the case shall be handled according to the provisions of Article 9 (§ 16.1-278 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1.

§ 16.1-278.9. Delinquent children; loss of driving privileges for alcohol, firearm, and drug offenses; truancy. (or link to code section, if optimizes...)

A. If a court has found facts which would justify a finding that a child at least 13 years of age at the time of the offense is delinquent and such finding involves (i) a violation of § 18.2-266 or of a similar ordinance of any county, city or town, (ii) a refusal to take a blood or breath test in violation of § 18.2-268.2, (iii) a felony violation of § 18.2-24818.2-248.1 or 18.2-250, (iv) a misdemeanor violation of § 18.2-24818.2-248.1, or 18.2-250 or a violation of § 18.2-250.1, (v) the unlawful purchase, possession or consumption of alcohol in violation of § 4.1-305 or the unlawful drinking or possession of alcoholic beverages in or on public school grounds in violation of § 4.1-309, (vi) public intoxication in violation of § 18.2-388 or a similar ordinance of a county, city or town, (vii) the unlawful use or possession of a handgun or possession of a "streetsweeper" as defined below, or (viii) a violation of § 18.2-83, the court shall order, in addition to any other penalty that it may impose as provided by law for the offense, that the child be denied a driver's license. In addition to any other penalty authorized by this section, if the offense involves a violation designated under clause (i) and the child was transporting a person 17 years of age or younger, the court shall impose the additional fine and order community service as provided in §18.2-270. If the offense involves a violation designated under clause (i), (ii), (iii) or (viii), the denial of a driver's license shall be for a period of one year or until the juvenile reaches the age of 17, whichever is longer, for a first such offense or for a period of one year or until the juvenile reaches the age of 18, whichever is longer, for a second or subsequent such offense. If the offense involves a violation designated under clause (iv), (v) or (vi) the denial of driving privileges shall be for a period of six months unless the offense is committed by a child under the age of 16 years and three months, in which case the child's ability to apply for a driver's license shall be delayed for a period of six months following the date he reaches the age of 16 and three months. If the offense involves a first violation designated under clause (v) or (vi), the court shall impose the license sanction and may enter a judgment of guilt or, without entering a judgment of guilt, may defer disposition of the delinquency charge until such time as the court disposes of the case pursuant to subsection F of this section. If the offense involves a violation designated under clause (iii) or (iv), the court shall impose the license sanction and shall dispose of the delinquency charge pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or § 18.2-251. If the offense involves a violation designated under clause (vii), the denial of driving privileges shall be for a period of not less than 30 days, except when the offense involves possession of a concealed handgun or a striker 12, commonly called a "streetsweeper," or any semi-automatic folding stock shotgun of like kind with a spring tension drum magazine capable of holding 12 shotgun shells, in which case the denial of driving privileges shall be for a period of two years unless the offense is committed by a child under the age of 16 years and three months, in which event the child's ability to apply for a driver's license shall be delayed for a period of two years following the date he reaches the age of 16 and three months.

A1. If a court finds that a child at least 13 years of age has failed to comply with school attendance and meeting requirements as provided in § 22.1-258, the court shall order the denial of the child's driving privileges for a period of not less than 30 days. If such failure to comply involves a child under the age of 16 years and three months, the child's ability to apply for a driver's license shall be delayed for a period of not less than 30 days following the date he reaches the age of 16 and three months.

If the court finds a second or subsequent such offense, it may order the denial of a driver's license for a period of one year or until the juvenile reaches the age of 18, whichever is longer, or delay the child's ability to apply for a driver's license for a period of one year following the date he reaches the age of 16 and three months, as may be appropriate.

B. Any child who has a driver's license at the time of the offense or at the time of the court's finding as provided in subsection A1 shall be ordered to surrender his driver's license, which shall be held in the physical custody of the court during any period of license denial.

C. The court shall report any order issued under this section to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which shall preserve a record thereof. The report and the record shall include a statement as to whether the child was represented by or waived counsel or whether the order was issued pursuant to subsection A1 of this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 12 (§ 16.1-299 et seq.) of this chapter or the provisions of Title 46.2, this record shall be available only to all law-enforcement officers, attorneys for the Commonwealth and courts. No other record of the proceeding shall be forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicles unless the proceeding results in an adjudication of guilt pursuant to subsection F.

The Department of Motor Vehicles shall refuse to issue a driver's license to any child denied a driver's license until such time as is stipulated in the court order or until notification by the court of withdrawal of the order of denial under subsection E.

D. If the finding as to the child involves a violation designated under clause (i), (ii), (iii) or (vi) of subsection A, the child may be referred to a certified alcohol safety action program in accordance with § 18.2-271.1 upon such terms and conditions as the court may set forth. If the finding as to such child involves a violation designated under clause (iii), (iv), (v), (vii) or (viii) of subsection A, such child may be referred to appropriate rehabilitative or educational services upon such terms and conditions as the court may set forth.

The court, in its discretion and upon a demonstration of hardship, may authorize the use of a restricted permit to operate a motor vehicle by any child who has a driver's license at the time of the offense or at the time of the court's finding as provided in subsection A1 for any of the purposes set forth in subsection E of § 18.2-271.1 or for travel to and from school, except that no restricted license shall be issued for travel to and from home and school when school-provided transportation is available and no restricted license shall be issued if the finding as to such child involves a violation designated under clause (iii) or (iv) of subsection A, or if it involves a second or subsequent violation of any offense designated in subsection A or a second finding by the court of failure to comply with school attendance and meeting requirements as provided in subsection A1. The issuance of the restricted permit shall be set forth within the court order, a copy of which shall be provided to the child, and shall specifically enumerate the restrictions imposed and contain such information regarding the child as is reasonably necessary to identify him. The child may operate a motor vehicle under the court order in accordance with its terms. Any child who operates a motor vehicle in violation of any restrictions imposed pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a violation of § 46.2-301.

E. Upon petition made at least 90 days after issuance of the order, the court may review and withdraw any order of denial of a driver's license if for a first such offense or finding as provided in subsection A1. For a second or subsequent such offense or finding, the order may not be reviewed and withdrawn until one year after its issuance.

F. If the finding as to such child involves a first violation designated under clause (vii) of subsection A, upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions prescribed by the court and after the child's driver's license has been restored, the court shall or, in the event the violation resulted in the injury or death of any person or if the finding involves a violation designated under clause (i), (ii), (v), or (vi) of subsection A, may discharge the child and dismiss the proceedings against him. Discharge and dismissal under these provisions shall be without an adjudication of guilt but a record of the proceeding shall be retained for the purpose of applying this section in subsequent proceedings. Failure of the child to fulfill such terms and conditions shall result in an adjudication of guilt. If the finding as to such child involves a violation designated under clause (iii) or (iv) of subsection A, the charge shall not be dismissed pursuant to this subsection but shall be disposed of pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or § 18.2-251. If the finding as to such child involves a second violation under clause (v), (vi) or (vii) of subsection A, the charge shall not be dismissed pursuant to this subsection but shall be disposed of under § 16.1-278.8.

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