Posts Tagged ‘Berks County Underage Drinking’

Client Not Guilty in Underage Drinking Case

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a young college student who was charged with underage drinking. Our client was a student at a local Berks County college, and she was attending a party with other students when the party got “busted”. A lot of local police officers showed up, and virtually all the students present were given breathalyzer tests, and many of the students were given citations for underage drinking under 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308.

Although the citation itself may not seem terribly serious at first, many young people, especially college students, are afraid of having a conviction for this type of offense on their “record”. Additionally, a conviction for underage drinking will result in PennDOT suspending the defendant’s license for a period of at least 90 days. Finally, the amount of fines and court costs involved can quickly approach $500.00.

For these reasons, Attorney McAllister and his client decided they would “fight” the charge at a summary trial before the local Berks County Magisterial District Judge. On the day of the hearing, the police officer who issued the citation took the witness stand and attempted to testify about the incident as it related to our client. Attorney McAllister cross-examined the officer, and the defendant even testified when it was time for the defense to present their case. At the close of evidence, Attorney McAllister made a convincing closing argument to the District Judge, who subsequently found our client “not guilty” of the underage drinking charge.

The next day, Attorney McAllister began the process of filing an expungement to get this any trace of this information off of our client’s record.

Needless to say, our client was extremely happy with the outcome. She would not receive any fines or court costs as a penalty, and she would not receive any suspension of her license. Most importantly, though, our client would not have a record of a conviction for this offense. If you, your child, or someone you know is charged with 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308 (underage drinking) in Reading, PA, or Berks County, PA, please contact our law firm right away at 610-372-5128. It could mean the difference between a conviction and a not guilty verdict.

Furnishing Alcohol To Minors Charges Dismissed Following Preliminary Hearing

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

This week attorney Dan Nevins represented a Berks County client charged with the seven counts of the misdemeanor offense of furnishing alcohol to a minor. It was alleged that a mother and father had “furnished” alcohol to their son and six of his friends after police arrived at their residence and found the teenagers drinking alcohol in the basement.

The teenagers were charged with underage drinking and at least two were also alleged to have been in possession of a small amount of marijuana. The parents, who were upstairs in their pajamas and unaware of what was happening in the basement, found themselves charged criminally in the incident.tian xiao cheng

At the time scheduled for the preliminary hearing the Assistant District Attorney requested a continuance so that he might have the opportunity to subpoena the teenagers to determine if any of them would provide a statement that would incriminate the parents. Attorney Nevins and co-counsel, Attorney Mike Boland, objected to such a request as it amounted to nothing more than a fishing expedition. The District Judge agreed and ordered the Commonwealth to present its caseInflatable Dream Castle. Astonishingly, it turned out that the prosecuting officer had obtained a statement from one of the teenagers regarding the source of the alcohol — she had brought it!

With that development the ADA persisted with the bogus prosecution under the theory that the parents had “furnished” the alcohol in that they knowingly and intentionally allowed the underage drinking to go on in their home. (Bearing in mind that the incident occurred in a secluded part of the basement, with no loud noises or music playing, after midnight, with the parents upstairs in pajamas on the other side of the house.)

Fortunately, following testimony, the District Judge dismissed every count against both “defendants” and admonished the ADA for his “theories.”

Client Not Guilty in Underage Drinking Case

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a Penn State Berks college student who was charged with underage drinking / possession in violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308.  As a college student with a bright future, our client was very concerned about this being on his permanent record.  Additionally, our client was facing fines and court costs in excess of $500.00 and a license suspension of 90 days.  Moreover, our client rightfully wanted to fight the charges because he denied ever drinking, buying, or possessing any alcohol.

Attorney McAllister showed up in Court on the day of the hearing, and he spoke with the police officers involved in the case beforehand.  Our client was offered a “deal” in which he would plead guilty to another charge which would eliminate the license suspension.  After consulting with Attorney McAllister, however, the decision was made to move forward with the hearing and fight the charges.

During the hearing, Attorney McAllister cross-examined the officers and was able to prove to the Judge that there was simply not “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” to show that our client was guilty of this offense.  The Judge agreed with Attorney McAllister’s arguments, and our client was found “not guilty”.  The following day, Attorney McAllister filed the paperwork at the Courthouse to begin the process of “expunging” our client’s arrest record related to this incident.  In a few short weeks, after the expungement is gratned, there will be no evidence of this unfortunate incident on our client’s record.

Our client and his parents were extremely happy with the outcome of this case.  In fact, from a legal standpoint, the outcome could not have gotten any better!

If you or someone you know has been charged with Underage Drinking (18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308) in Reading, Pennsylvania, or Berks County, Pennsylvania, then be sure to contact our office right away at 610-372-5128.  There are many strategies that our experienced and dedicated attorneys would be willing to discuss as part of a no-cost consultation.

Broke up after 8 years i want him back

Friday, June 15th, 2012

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Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a college student who was charged with underage drinking under 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308 and public drunkeness under 18 Pa.C.S.A. 5505.  Our client was initially facing nearly $1,000.00 in fines and court costs, a mandatory driver’s license suspension, and two (2) convictions on her record.  Naturally, our c

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lient was very concerned about these charges since she was pursuing a college degree; she was very concerned about the how these convictions could potentially affect her future employment prospects.

Attorney McAllister advised our client to plead “not guilty” to both charges.  After taking the matter before a Magisterial District Judge, our client was found “not guilty” by the Judge.  As a result, there was were no fines or court costs assessed against our client, no driver’s license suspension, and no convictions on her record.  Attorney McAllister will likely proceed with an “expungement” of these charges to ensure that there is no trace of this incident that could affect our client in the future.

Our client was extremely happy with the outcome of her case.  If you or someone you know is facing charges in Reading or Berks County for Underage Drinking or Public Drunkeness, please contact Ebner, Nevins & McAllister, LLC, right away at 610-372-5128.  One of our three (3) dedicated and experienced attorneys will be happy to discuss the specifics of your case in more detail.

Underage Drinking Citation negotiated down to Disorderly Conduct in Berks County Summary Appeal

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Today I represented a Kutztown University student charged with violating 18 Pa.CSA Section 6308 – the Underage Drining statute. The penalty for such an offense includes fines and a 6 month driver’s license suspension. Additionally, many employers and professional licensing boards frown upon alcohol related convictions. In this particular case my client had represented himself at the District Judge level and had been found guilty despite the apparent weaknesses in the Commonwealth’s case.bouncy castle canada

Wisely, he decided to appeal and seek Counsel in his case before the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. I was able to negotiate the matter with the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case. Thankfully, we came to a resolution that allowed my client to keep his driver’s license and avoid the adverse employment effects of an alcohol related inflatable slides

Our office frequently represents individuals charged with Underage Drinking and other Summary Offense and Traffic tickets in Berks County courts. When your driver’s license is at stake it is crucial that you retain an experienced and knowledgeable advocate. Our office offers free consultations for your criminal, non-traffic or traffic citation case. Call now to arrange an appointment with one of our attorneys.

Fast Track ARD for DUI in Berks County, PA

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

The ARD program in Berks County is a way for an eligible candidate to avoid the mandatory jail time associated with a first time DUI. As we’ve previously posted, you can earn a dismissal of your DUI case by participation in this special first-time offenders program. Your participation will include community service, safe driving classes and court fines and costs. Our firm prides itself on making the entire process as simple as possible for our clients. One way we do this is by taking advantage of the so-called “Fast Track ARD” process.

When facing any criminal or DUI case an individual can expect to go to as many 4 or 5 court hearings. To many people appearing in front of a Judge and other courtroom personnel can be a stressful situation, not to mention time consuming. During an initial case evaluation we are usually able to determine pretty quickly if we can reduce the number of court appearances down to two. In addition, with our knowledge of Berks County Courts we can very often have our clients in and out of court in under half an hour. By ensuring that our clients are informed and engaged in the process we make certain that they are as prepared for court as we are. This fact is as important with a First Time DUI case as it is with a serious felony.

If you are facing a DUI charge in Berks County please contact our office for a no-cost consultation to see if you may qualify for the ARD program.

Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I recently represented a Kutztown University student on a citation for underage drinking.  Pennsylvania’s underage drinking statute, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308, actually covers “purchase, consumption, possession, or transportation” of alcohol.  Although it is a relatively minor summary offense that is most often punishable by a fine, most young people, including my client, want to avoid having any type of “record”, including one for underage drinking.  This is especially important in the case of a successful college student with a bright future ahead of him.  Furthermore, although Pennsylvania law allows for an expungement of an underage drinking citation upon reaching 21 years of age, my client didn’t want to wait until his 21st birthday to have his record expunged; he didn’t want any type of record at all.

In this case, several students were issued citations by campus police for underage drinking in my client’s dorm room.  Additionally, one student, who was over 21, was charged with supplying alcohol to minors, which is a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania state law.  Although there was no evidence that my client was even drinking that night, he was issued a citation for “constructively possessing” the alcohol that was present in his college dorm room.

After a long hearing in front of the Magistrate, which included over 5 witnesses, my client was found guilty.  Based on the facts presented at the hearing, I strongly disagreed with the ruling.  After discussing it with my client, I filed an appeal at the Berks County Court of Common Pleas that same day.  Although I would have liked to have had the opportunity argue the case again at the higher court, my client and I ultimately decided that the best course of action would be to enter into the accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program.

At the hearing, my client did not have to plead guilty or admit any guilt.  He was placed on informal supervision for a few months and must complete community service.  After he successfully completes ARD, any information related to the case will be expunged, and there will be no formal record of his charges.  The entire incident will be a thing of the past well before my client starts applying for internships for the upcoming summer.

Most importantly, my client was very satisfied with the outcome of his case.