While criminal penalties, such as fines and license suspension, are serious and need to be addressed, another significant concern for any sort of alcohol violation for a minor is the criminal record. Police officers are beginning to crack down heavily on underage drinkers in downtown Charleston and on college campuses throughout the area for underage drinking, open container, fake ID and related charges.
Police officers may advise a college student who is arrested on one of these charges to pay the fine - even at half of the charge - and "finish the matter". By doing this, however, the arrest and the conviction will be on the person's criminal record which can impact financial aid and future opportunities for education and employment. At McCoy & Stokes our attorneys will advise you on your rights and what steps should be taken after an arrest.
It may seem easy to simply pay $250 for a fine, instead of going through a long criminal process, especially if that is what the police officer is offering for you to do. Unfortunately, without being aware of your rights, that decision can create a criminal record that is not eligible to be expunged for three years. Schools like the Citadel, the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern can find out when a student has been arrested - sometimes before the parents know - and will often institute their own disciplinary action.
Some of the violations can be grounds for expulsion. Others may result in a loss of playing time on a sports team and/or a loss of sports and academic scholarships. These consequences are as serious as they get for students who are trying to get a solid education and begin a career. Protect your rights, or the rights of your child, by speaking with an experienced attorney.
For any student who has been arrested and is facing the penalties that come along with an arrest or conviction, the prospect of suspension or expulsion from school is as serious as it gets. The Citadel, the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern University and other surrounding institutions of higher learning take criminal offenses seriously and will often bring additional consequences that go beyond the criminal penalties.
At McCoy & Stokes, LLC, our attorneys often receive calls from students and from parents who are concerned about the criminal process and what will happen down the line. Suspension or expulsion from school is not only expensive, it can have a tremendous impact on future opportunities for higher education and employment.
Offenses that may result in suspension or expulsion for students in include:
Attorney Peter McCoy will work hard to fight your charge, keep it off your record and prevent it from impacting your status as a student. We can also represent students who live out of state but have pending charges in South Carolina.
Please contact McCoy & Stokes, LLC at (843) 628-2855 to schedule your consultation with experienced Charleston family lawyers.
Among college students at the Citadel, the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern University, one of the most common charges is that of underage drinking. When this behavior results in an arrest or charge, it needs to be addressed aggressively and immediately. A criminal record can often follow a minor and be detrimental to his or her future, especially when looked at by college or graduate program admissions boards and future employers.
At the law firm of McCoy & Stokes, LLC, we understand the impact that an underage drinking charge can have on a student and his or her future. Lawyer Peter McCoy also served as a criminal prosecutor for more than five years in the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office in Charleston County. He is familiar with how these charges come about and what can be done to reduce the penalties and the negative consequences of an arrest or a conviction.
While an arrest for underage drinking can come with fines and court costs, the most serious problem may be your record. A conviction can also result in suspension or expulsion from school and/or a loss of scholarships and financial aid. Additionally, many future employers will look poorly upon a criminal record.
In addition to charges of underage drinking, our firm also represents individuals on charges of alcohol possession, underage drinking and driving and open container charges.
Please contact McCoy & Stokes, LLC at (843) 628-2855 to schedule your consultation with experienced Charleston underage drinking attorneys.