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.”