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AWARDS: $2,350,000 award to automobile accident wrongful death plaintiffs • jury acquittal – double criminal homicide • $1,000,000 award to motorcycle accident wrongful death plaintiffs • jury acquittal – criminal homicide • $465,000 award to medical malpractice plaintiff • jury acquittal – criminal homicide, recklessly endangering another person, neglect of a care dependent person • $325,000 federal jury verdict, UIM and insurance bad faith award to automobile accident plaintiffs • jury acquittal – attempted criminal homicide • $300,000 award to medical malpractice plaintiff • jury acquittal- attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon • $300,000 award to automobile accident/ products liability plaintiffs • jury acquittal – homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle DUI, aggravate assault by vehicle • $115,000 award to truck accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – murder, rape • $100,000 non-jury trial verdict to facial laceration plaintiff • jury acquittal – 1st degree Murder (capital case) • $90,000 award to premises liability/slip-and-fall plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI, terroristic threats, carrying firearms without a license • $440,000 award to civil rights violation plaintiff • jury acquittal – theft, receiving stolen property • $135,000 award to civil rights violation plaintiff • jury acquittal – possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (PWI) • $636,000 jury verdict in plaintiffs’ medical malpractice case • jury acquittal – indecent assault, indecent exposure • $550,000 award in plaintiffs’ personal injury case • juvenile case acquittal- solicitation to commit aggravated assault, aggravated assault of unborn child • $250,000 award to mass transit accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy • $130,000 award to premises liability/slip-and-fall plaintiffs • court-appointed appellate counsel – Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reversal of rape conviction • $465,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – aggravated assault • $125,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI • non-jury acquittal – dismissal of armed robbery charges • $170,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • successful jury verdict in defense of attorney charged with legal malpractice in professional liability case • $140,000 award to injured bicyclist plaintiff • non-jury acquittal – dismissal of 2 counts of criminal homicide • $180,000 award to employment discrimination plaintiff • jury acquittal – indecent exposure • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to paternal grandparents over natural mother • juvenile decertification petition granted to criminal homicide charges – release at age 21 • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to father • jury acquittal – DUI • $90,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to mother • $50,000 jury verdict for plaintiff- passenger in automobile accident case • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to father • hung jury – Arson trial (no criminal punishment imposed) • $265,000 award to premises liability plaintiff • jury acquittal – delivery of a controlled substance • $125,000 award to premises liability plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI • $190,000 award to products liability plaintiff • $150,000 award to premises liability/construction accident plaintiff • $750,000 award to prison medical malpractice and civil rights violation plaintiff • $90,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • $108,500 award to automobile accident plaintiff • $80,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • $150,000 award to truck accident plaintiffs.

Criminal Law

Underage Drinking

Pennsylvania Underage Drinking Lawyers

It is a familiar scenario for alcoholic beverages to be unlawfully offered to minors (i.e., individuals under 21 years of age) on university and college campuses and other venues throughout the year, especially on weekends and holidays when popular activities, such as sporting events, rock concerts, and fraternity, sorority and/or private parties are taking place. Gatherings of large numbers of people, loud music or noise, fighting or raucous behavior, and other reasons can compel campus, municipal or state police to investigate, oftentimes resulting in multiple individuals being arrested for direct or constructive possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages. Arrests also may occur when the police observe: (a) minors carrying or transporting alcoholic beverages by hand or in a motor vehicle; or (b) the aftermath of an evening of consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors, such as staggering gait, slurred speech, disorientation, loss of consciousness, vomiting, or alcohol poisoning.

What is Underage Drinking?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibits the purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages by a minor. 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6308 (Purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages) makes it a criminal offense if a person less than 21 years of age, attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses or knowingly and intentionally transports any liquor or malt or brewed beverages. It is no defense to this crime that the liquor or malt or brewed beverage was consumed in a jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction where the citation for underage drinking was issued.

What are the penalties for underage drinking?

The penalties for a violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6308 may include a fine and restriction of operating privileges. A person convicted of violating subsection (a) of 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6308 may be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500 for the first violation and not more than $1000 for the second and each subsequent violation.

Further, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6310.4 (relating to restriction of operating privileges), when the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation suspends the operating privilege of a person for a violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6307 (relating to misrepresentation of age to secure liquor or malt or brewed beverages), 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6308 (relating to purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages) or 18 Pa.C.S.A. §6310.3 (relating to carrying a false identification card), the duration of the suspension shall be (a) for a first offense, a period of 90 days from the date of suspension; (b) for a second offense, a period of one year from the date of suspension; (c) for a third offense, and any offense thereafter, a period of two years from the date of suspension. Any multiple sentences imposed shall be served consecutively.

Arrests or citations also may occur if (a) the minor knowingly and falsely represents himself to be 21 years of age or older to any licensed dealer, distributor or other person for the purpose of procuring or having furnished to him, any liquor or malt or brewed beverages; or (b) the minor possesses a false identification card.

18 Pa.C.S.A. §6307. (Misrepresentation of age to secure liquor or malt or brewed beverages)

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibits a person under the age of 21 years from knowingly and falsely representing himself to be 21 years of age or older to any licensed dealer, distributor or other person, for the purpose of procuring or having furnished to him, any liquor or malt or brewed beverages. A person who violates this prohibition is guilty of a summary offense for a first violation and a misdemeanor of the third degree (maximum one year imprisonment and/or $2,500 fine) for any subsequent violations. Further, in addition to restriction of operating privileges, a minimum penalty of a fine of not more than $500 for subsequent violations may be imposed.

18 Pa.C.S.A. §6310.3. (Carrying a false identification card)

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibits a person under the age of 21 years from possessing an identification card falsely identifying that person by name, age, date of birth or photograph as being 21 years of age or older or obtaining or attempting to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages by using the identification card of another or by using an identification card that has not been lawfully issued to or in the name of that person who possesses the card. A person who violates this prohibition is guilty of a summary offense for a first violation and a misdemeanor of the third degree (maximum one year imprisonment and/or $2,500 fine) for any subsequent violations. Further, in addition to restriction of operating privileges, a minimum penalty of a fine of not more than $500 for the second and subsequent violations may be imposed.

IF YOU, OR A LOVED ONE, HAVE BEEN ARRESTED FOR UNDERAGE DRINKING OR RELATED OFFENSES, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU ACT QUICKLY AND RETAIN EXPERIENCED LEGAL COUNSEL . . . LIKE THE ATTORNEYS AT CHARLES LAW OFFICES.

In addition to the criminal penalties, fines and license suspensions described above, a conviction of underage drinking and/or related offenses may damage one’s opportunity for obtaining future higher education, gainful employment, loans, and housing, to mention just a few of the possible negative outcomes.   At the same time, the internet has made it easy for anyone — such as employers, banks, landlords, and college admissions officers — to pull up arrest records immediately. Therefore, if you have been arrested or cited for underage drinking and/or related offenses, it is very important that you retain trained and experienced legal counsel as soon as possible so that all of your federal and state constitutional and legal rights are protected, and your chances for achieving a favorable outcome are maximized.

Since 1977, the lawyers at Charles Law Offices have zealously and effectively guarded the legal rights and interests of people arrested and charged with criminal offenses, including underage drinking and related offenses.

Our record of success and victory in criminal cases speaks for itself. If you, or a loved one, are facing an underage drinking or related criminal offense, you can rely upon the nearly 40 years of  legal knowledge, training, trial skills and unsurpassed experience of each of the attorneys at Charles Law Offices to zealously defend and represent your legal interests at the highest level. When your freedom and reputation are on the line, you can’t afford anything less!

 

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the attorneys at Charles Law Offices.

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"Attorney Dennis Charles does not give up on his clients with difficult problems. His exemplary and successful defense of an unfortunate teenager charged with double criminal homicide impressed me the most. Attorney Charles has excellent trial skills, a tremendous work ethic and very high moral values."

Farhad Sholevar, M.D. | Board Certified Psychiatrist

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A Family History of Devotion to
Law and Public Service

The Charles Brothers’ devotion to the law is derived from a family history in the legal system and of service to others. Their father, Charles “Chink” Charles (depicted in the lower left-hand corner of the photograph) held a 35 year career in law enforcement, and was selected to serve as the personal bodyguard for former United States Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson during their campaign visits to Allentown.

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