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  1. #1
    cpu
    cpu is offline Junior Member
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    Underage Possession of Alcohol (Pennsylvania)

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pennsylvania

    20, male, white. I will be 21 in less than two months.

    Hello. I was pulled over for a broken headlight, the officer noticed two closed containers of beer in the backseat of my car. I told him I did not know it was there, and that it wasn't mine. They searched my car at my OK, took the beer, and my ID information. My passenger gave them his birth date (also 20 years old), his name, address. I blew a .01 (under the legal limit for DUI). I have an underage possession, consumption, transportation of alcohol charge. I'm going to court soon.

    I'm pretty sure the law states that one can not "knowingly or intentionally" transport or possess alcohol.

    I intend to represent myself (cannot afford a lawyer).

    What should I do? I do not want to put the blame on my passenger if he will get in trouble for it, but if I claimed it was his alcohol would I be found innocent? They failed to take his Social Security Number and did not check his ID, since he did not have any.

    How should I present my case to the judge? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I do not want to lose my license over this matter.

    Also I feel as though I was profiled, should this be mentioned in court?

    Would pleading guilty help me out? I pleaded Not Guilty on the charge that was mailed in.


    Thank you,

    cpu
  2. #2
    Indiana Filer is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpu View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pennsylvania

    20, male, white. I will be 21 in less than two months.
    It doesn't matter how close to 21 you are. It matters that you weren't 21 at the time of the offense.

    Hello. I was pulled over for a broken headlight, the officer noticed two closed containers of beer in the backseat of my car. I told him I did not know it was there, and that it wasn't mine. They searched my car at my OK, took the beer, and my ID information. My passenger gave them his birth date (also 20 years old), his name, address. I blew a .01 (under the legal limit for DUI).
    You aren't being charged with DUI. You're being charged with Minor in Possession, minor in consumption, and transportation. According to your own words, quoted above, you did commit those offenses.

    I have an underage possession, consumption, transportation of alcohol charge. I'm going to court soon.

    I'm pretty sure the law states that one can not "knowingly or intentionally" transport or possess alcohol.
    So, how did you drink the alcohol when you didn't know you were drinking the alcohol? You possessed it when you drank it. And since you were drinking, the Court probably won't believe you didn't know it was there.

    I intend to represent myself (cannot afford a lawyer).

    What should I do? I do not want to put the blame on my passenger if he will get in trouble for it, but if I claimed it was his alcohol would I be found innocent? They failed to take his Social Security Number and did not check his ID, since he did not have any.
    Don't lie, especially not under oath. That's perjury. And they aren't charging you with ownership. They're charging you with possession. That's two entirely different concepts.

    How should I present my case to the judge? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I do not want to lose my license over this matter.
    It's probably too late for that. The time, and here comes the lecture, is before you made the decision to drink illegally.

    Also I feel as though I was profiled, should this be mentioned in court?
    You can mention it, but it won't do any good. Profiling is allowed. Anyway, you already said that you got pulled over for a broken headlight. That's probable cause no matter what color your skin is or where you ancestors may have come from.

    Would pleading guilty help me out? I pleaded Not Guilty on the charge that was mailed in.
    Well, that's a decision you have to make. From what you posted, IMO, it sounds like you committed the offenses with which you are charged.
  3. #3
    cyjeff is offline Senior Member
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    As far as profiling goes, you may have a shot.

    I think I read somewhere that a number approaching 100% of all people charged with underage possession were kids under the age of 21.

    Oh wait.

    The rest is garbage. Are you really going to play the race card on this one?

    Really?
  4. #4
    cpu
    cpu is offline Junior Member
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    Are you really going to play the race card on this one?
    I'm white. I don't think an older gentleman, with a nice ride, would have been pulled over and investigated as I was; unfortunately, I drive a old car typical of a poor underage. Also the officer probably would not have asked him if he had any "dope." Note: I'm not familiar with courtings, that's why I've asked for advice, and I do appreciate your feedback.

    Again, thank you all for your replies. I'm very anxious.
    Last edited by cpu; 01-28-2009 at 09:18 PM.
  5. #5
    cpu
    cpu is offline Junior Member
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    I'll repeat this for clarity: the law states that one can not "knowingly or intentionally" transport or possess alcohol- I did not know or intend to transport the alcohol. The .01 BAC could have been the result of mouthwash or rubbing alcohol, no? Are those illegal to consume?

    What is the likelihood that the officers have kept the containers? What did they most likely do with them? Thanks again.
  6. #6
    ks23 is offline Junior Member
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    with mouthwash and rubbing alcohol wouldnt have given a .01 it is a different kind of alcohol.
  7. #7
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    You consume rubbing alcohol you have more serious problems.

    Given the containers, the mouthwash or similar defenses aren't going to work. Any one of those pieces of evidence are more than enough to get you on this charge. They don't need to keep the container. Their testimony as to their presence is enough.

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