Juvenile Misdemeanors and Felonies
People under the age of 21 should be aware of the different juvenile misdemeanors and felonies they could potentially face. Here are some of the most common charges against minors in Buffalo, New York.
Juvenile Misdemeanors and Felonies | Underage Drinking
There is technically no “underage drinking” charge in New York, nor is there an explicit prohibition on purchasing alcohol. If police catch you drinking alcohol, however, you aren’t likely to get away without a charge. Under the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, it is an offense for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage through fraudulent means. This is separate from the law against possession of false identification, which makes it a misdemeanor to buy or sell a fake or stolen license (a second offense is a felony).
Juvenile Misdemeanors and Felonies | Under 21 DWI
New York has a “zero tolerance” alcohol policy for drivers under 21. If police pull you over and you blow a BAC of .01-.07, you will be charged with underage DWI. This would be a DWAI for a driver over 21, carrying fines and the suspension of the convicted person’s driver’s license for six months. For a driver under 21, however, there is no DWAI: the charge is technically “driving after consuming alcohol,” and while the financial penalties will be less severe than for a DWAI, the driver’s license suspension will be for one year. The charge will not count as a DWI on your future record. Note, however, that even a trace of alcohol in your system will result in a charge. If you blow a BAC of .08 or more, you will be treated as an adult.
Juvenile Misdemeanors and Felonies | Marijuana Possession
Possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana in New York State is now a violation – not a crime. There will, however, be a fine if you are convicted (probably $100). Be cautioned, though: you may be charged with a B misdemeanor if you possess or consume marijuana in a public place, or if you possess over 25 grams. Possession of more than 2 ounces (about 57 grams) will be an A misdemeanor charge.
Juvenile Misdemeanors and Felonies | Hazing
For many students at large universities, “hazing” seems like a normal and accepted part of the college experience – especially for students who experienced hazing themselves, during the initiation into a fraternity or sorority. In the eyes of the law, however, hazing is a serious offense. While hazing is not a “crime,” it is a violation, and a person charged with hazing could spend 15 days in jail. Hazing might result in expulsion from a school, which in turn could threaten a person’s career goals. Furthermore, a skilled prosecutor could push to include additional charges for illegal actions associated with hazing, such as underage consumption of alcohol, criminal mischief, and assault.
If you have any questions regarding common charges juveniles face, please contact Arthur Pressman today for a free and confidential consultation.