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Buffalo Grove, IL Underage Drinking Defense Lawyer

Underage Drinking

Skilled Juvenile Defense Attorney in Lake County, Illinois

As a parent, there are few things worse than getting the call that your child is in legal trouble. You likely feel helpless and anxious for your child’s future, and are not sure of the best way to help your child. One of the best decisions you can make is to speak to a knowledgeable Northbrook underage drinking defense attorney who is well-versed in the Illinois laws surrounding juvenile offenses. Matthew R. Gebhardt understands your feelings and has compassion for your situation. Attorney Gebhardt also realizes that one silly mistake should not negatively impact your child’s future. Juveniles can be charged with most all of the same crimes adults can be charged with, and while the penalties tend to be less severe than those meted out to adults, drinking and driving is the exception.

If your child is facing charges of underage drinking, it is imperative that you speak to Attorney Gebhardt at the earliest possible time for quality representation for the following offenses:

  • The purchase of alcohol with a false identification card;
  • Illegally possessing alcohol;
  • Illegally consuming alcohol;
  • Driving under the influence; and
  • Being illegally intoxicated.

Underage Drinking Defense in Illinois

With most juvenile crimes, minors do not even realize the extreme impact their actions could have on their life and their future. Unlike most crimes, minors who are found guilty of underage drinking and driving could potentially face more serious penalties than adults convicted of the same crime. The State of Illinois has extremely severe laws regarding the possession or consumption of alcohol by minors. The minor could face misdemeanor criminal charges, and if he or she was driving at the time will likely lose all driving privileges in addition to more severe penalties.

A Zero Tolerance law exists in the state for drivers under the age of 21 who are found to have any trace of alcohol in their system. Illinois police officers are authorized to request a chemical test following a traffic stop if there is a reasonable belief the juvenile has alcohol in their system. Should the test confirm that belief, the police officer will submit a sworn statement to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, and the juvenile’s license will be immediately suspended.

When a juvenile is charged with DUI and has a BAC sufficient to justify the charges, he or she could lose their license for two years for a first offense and five years for a second offense. Additional penalties can include jail time, fines and community service. Even in cases where the attorney negotiates a deal for the minor in which he or she pleads guilty, pays a fine and is sentenced to court supervision in order to avoid adjudication, the young adult may still suffer a suspension of their driver’s license for a period of three months.

Juvenile Possession and Attempt to Purchase Alcohol 

There is little tolerance for juvenile alcohol crimes in the state of Illinois. If you attempt to purchase alcohol with a false identification card, you will not only face Minor in Possession of Alcohol charges, you could also face the felony offense of possession of a false identification card. If you happen to attend a party where others are consuming alcohol—even if you are not—you could still find yourself charged with Possession of Alcohol just for being present. Further, parents or guardians who allow minors to drink alcohol in their home could face felony charges should injury or death occur.

How Our Law Firm Can Help Your Child

If your child has been charged with an alcohol-related crime such as underage drinking, contact a Lake County underage drinking defense attorney for experienced representation. Matthew R. Gebhardt has been practicing for over 20 years, and will work aggressively to build an effective defense strategy on behalf of your child. Attorney Gebhardt wants to prevent this matter from appearing on your child’s permanent record, so that there will be no long-term effects such as the inability to get into a college or secure employment. What you do in this moment affects your child’s life. For a comprehensive free case evaluation, contact us today.

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