What are alcohol offenses?
Under Ohio law, there are many criminal charges associated with alcohol. These alcohol offenses can be generally grouped into four different categories:
1) Underage alcohol offense
- consuming or purchasing alcohol underage
- selling alcohol to someone underage
2) Public intoxication
- Become visibly drunk in public
3) Driving under the influence
4) Open container violations
- Displaying or consuming alcohol in an inappropriate location
What are the punishments associated with alcohol offenses?
Because of its broadness in stature and application in criminal law, the penalties for alcohol offenses can range from a minor misdemeanor, often punishable by only a fine, to a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail. Aside from the fines and jail time, there are other consequences attached to alcohol offenses if you are convicted:
- Maintaining your current employment
- Licensure issues in some professions
- Difficulty getting a good job in the future
- Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings
If you are convicted of an alcohol offense, it could remain on your criminal background for the rest of your life. Having a criminal record could damage your reputation, your social life, your career and your rights. Therefore, it is critical that you to give your alcohol related offense the level of importance it deserves by hiring a professional criminal defense attorney.
How can a professional criminal defense attorney help me?
Having professional criminal defense attorney can help you fight an alcohol offense in different ways. First, the criminal defense attorney will figure out if and any mistakes were made by the police during the stop which led to your charges. This can be done by requesting discovery from the prosecutor who must turn over all and any evidence against you, such as police reports, criminal complaints, and physical evidence. Police officers are human too and they make mistakes during the course of their jobs. These mistakes can be violation of privacy, omitted or incorrect Miranda warnings, illegal search and seizures, lab mistakes, and intentional miscarriage of law. If any mistakes on the part of the police were discovered, the criminal defense attorney will then use it as leverage and negotiate with the prosecutors for the best possible plea deal for your particular case. If no favorable plea deal can be struck with the prosecutor, the criminal defense attorney will take the case to a motion hearing in which he/she will file motions to the judge for a ruling on evidentiary issues. Finally, if the judge denies the motion, then your attorney will take your case to trial
A criminal defense attorney will also negotiate with the prosecutor or judge if you have an alcohol abuse problem. If you have a relatively clean criminal record, there’s a good chance that a prosecutor or a judge will agree to a deal for you to enter into an alcohol abuse treatment program in exchange for dropping the charges or in lieu of jail time.
Being charged with an alcohol offense is not the end of the world. A trained professional criminal defense attorney can help fight the charge and make sure your constitutionally guaranteed rights are protected.
Are you in trouble? Contact us.
Though the penalties for alcohol offenses are generally less severe than for other offenses, it’s still important to stay informed. Complete the form on this page to have local attorneys call you directly. The form is quick and easy to complete and attorneys will call you at no cost or obligation.