Spring Break Legal Troubles
At the law offices of Smith & McGhee, P.C., our attorneys know that spring break is one of those blessed times of the year for colleges students in the southeast and gulf states. Those who attend school in Alabama often take advantage of the proximity to beaches in the state and surrounding states, namely Georgia and Florida. While having a wild spring break with friends is arguably a rite of passage for college-aged young adults, spring break can also spell legal troubles. If you find yourself charged with any of the following common spring break crimes, contact the experienced criminal attorneys at Smith & McGhee for a consultation and discussion about how we can help to protect your future.
Being charged with a DUI, or driving under the influence charge, is one of the most common spring break offenses. A DUI can occur during, or on the way to, spring break and may happen independently or in conjunction with a serious accident. A DUI is a very serious offense, especially at such a young age, and can have a lasting impact on your future. Even If you have a blood alcohol concentration of less than .08 percent alcohol at the time you are pulled over, but you are under the legal drinking age, you still may be charged with an underage DUI offense.
Drug Possession Charges
From schedule 1 drugs like marijuana and ecstasy to schedule 2 drugs like cocaine, when young people get together and want to have a good time, drugs may be part of the equation. In Alabama and surrounding states, the possession, use, distribution, and trafficking of these drugs are strictly prohibited, and a charge and conviction of a drug crime could carry penalties ranging from high fines to significant prison time.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol
It is not uncommon to drink before turning the legal age of 21. In fact, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that even by age 18, at least 60 percent of teens have had a drink of alcohol. What’s more, people ages 12 through 20 drink approximately 11 percent of all alcohol that is consumed in the United States.
If you are caught drinking before you turn 21 years old, you may be faced with a charge of unlawful activity and alcohol, such as a minor in possession (MIP) charge. Depending upon how you acquired the alcohol, you may also be charged with the use of a fake I.D. in conjunction with possession of the alcohol. If you did not use a fake I.D., the person who sold you the alcohol may be charged with furnishing alcohol to minors – a charge that you yourself could face if you are 21 or older and purchased alcohol for younger friends.
There is no doubt that many sober, respectable adults would characterize the activities of a spring break outing as “disorderly.” Disorderly conduct is the precise charge that a spring breaker may be charged with if they, whether publicly intoxicated or not, do any of the following:
- Engages in a fight or threatening behavior;
- Makes an unreasonable noise;
- Disturbs the lawful meeting or assembly of others;
- Obstructs traffic;
- Refuses to comply with an order to disperse when congregating unlawfully; or
- Breaches the peace.
Contact Our Experienced Spring Break Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
The above list of potential spring break crimes is not inclusive; violence, other traffic violations, and sex crimes are all possible examples of criminal activity associated with spring break. If you are charged with a crime while on spring break this year, please understand that your future is on the line. At the law offices of Smith & McGhee, P.C., we can help you to understand the charges that you are facing, build a case to protect yourself, and advocate for you both in and out of the courtroom.
We encourage you to contact our law offices as soon as possible after being charged with a crime during spring break. Your initial consultation with our experienced Alabama criminal defense lawyers is completely free. Reach us today at 334-702-1744, or send us a message by visiting our contact page today.