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  1. #1
    arizona24 is offline Junior Member
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    Arrested for Furnishing Alcohol to Minors - please help

    What is the name of your state? Arizona

    I am over 21 years of age and I was recently arrested for furnishing alcohol to minors. I was at a local restaurant, (on an outside patio which is part of the restaurant) attending a social event for a college club. I bought a pitcher of beer (with a friend of mine who is also over 21 – they require 2 ID’s at this restaurant) and poured myself and my friend a beer (into cups provided by the restaurant). I then set the pitcher down at a table and walked over to talk to other friends.

    A few minutes later the police showed up and started questioning people. Two of the people sitting at the table where I had set my pitcher down were under age. I had never met them or even spoken to them. I had set the pitcher on the opposite side of the table from them. The minors told the officers that they were drinking beer from my pitcher but never said I bought it for them or that I told them they could have any. (I never authorized them to drink from my pitcher) I was detained and ticketed for furnishing alcohol to minors. When I refused to sign the ticket because I could not read it (they pulled me away from the restaurant into a darker area) I was arrested. I was told by one officer "just sign it; it is like a speeding ticket." I informed the officer that I wanted to read the citation before signing it and asked for a flash light or to move closer to the light. They said I must stand right there. I refused to sign the ticket. I then asked for a supervisor. A supervisor was called and I explained to him why I refused to sign the ticket and I was arrested. I was never read my rights; however the officers did question me about the incident and asked me to "tell them what happened." I was even informed by an office what I should have done so that I didn’t get arrested. (He said to carry the pitcher around with me if I get up from the table.)

    I tried to speak to a lawyer but was unable to contact one and then the officer took my cell phone away. I said I didn't want to speak to anyone without a lawyer and I was told that the questions they were asking were legal to ask without a lawyer present. (Which is not true because the questions were above and beyond my name, address, and DOB – which were asked when the citation was written)

    After the officer took my cell phone away and I was asked questions about what I did and why I did it, I was cuffed and searched and taken to jail.

    I was bailed out of jail by friends a few hours later. My bail was lowered from $500 to $350 because of a "paperwork error" but I was not told what that error was.. I am now scheduled to appear before a judge.

    (I am not sure if it matters or not, but both minors were breathalyzed and blew .00. I think there was one cup of beer on the table closest to the side of the table where the minors were and it was either full or nearly full. I also do not remember anyone else being at the table when I sat my pitcher down.)

    What should I do? I do not see how I "furnished" beer to a minor when I didn't buy it for them or give it to them in any way. In essence the beer was stolen from me while I had my back turned and I was talking to friends. Please help. Thank you!
  2. #2
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by arizona24
    What is the name of your state? Arizona

    I am over 21 years of age and I was recently arrested for furnishing alcohol to minors. I was at a local restaurant, (on an outside patio which is part of the restaurant) attending a social event for a college club. I bought a pitcher of beer (with a friend of mine who is also over 21 – they require 2 ID’s at this restaurant) and poured myself and my friend a beer (into cups provided by the restaurant). I then set the pitcher down at a table and walked over to talk to other friends.

    A few minutes later the police showed up and started questioning people. Two of the people sitting at the table where I had set my pitcher down were under age. I had never met them or even spoken to them. I had set the pitcher on the opposite side of the table from them. The minors told the officers that they were drinking beer from my pitcher but never said I bought it for them or that I told them they could have any. (I never authorized them to drink from my pitcher) I was detained and ticketed for furnishing alcohol to minors. When I refused to sign the ticket because I could not read it (they pulled me away from the restaurant into a darker area) I was arrested. I was told by one officer "just sign it; it is like a speeding ticket." I informed the officer that I wanted to read the citation before signing it and asked for a flash light or to move closer to the light. They said I must stand right there. I refused to sign the ticket. I then asked for a supervisor. A supervisor was called and I explained to him why I refused to sign the ticket and I was arrested. I was never read my rights; however the officers did question me about the incident and asked me to "tell them what happened." I was even informed by an office what I should have done so that I didn’t get arrested. (He said to carry the pitcher around with me if I get up from the table.)

    I tried to speak to a lawyer but was unable to contact one and then the officer took my cell phone away. I said I didn't want to speak to anyone without a lawyer and I was told that the questions they were asking were legal to ask without a lawyer present. (Which is not true because the questions were above and beyond my name, address, and DOB – which were asked when the citation was written)

    After the officer took my cell phone away and I was asked questions about what I did and why I did it, I was cuffed and searched and taken to jail.

    I was bailed out of jail by friends a few hours later. My bail was lowered from $500 to $350 because of a "paperwork error" but I was not told what that error was.. I am now scheduled to appear before a judge.

    (I am not sure if it matters or not, but both minors were breathalyzed and blew .00. I think there was one cup of beer on the table closest to the side of the table where the minors were and it was either full or nearly full. I also do not remember anyone else being at the table when I sat my pitcher down.)

    What should I do? I do not see how I "furnished" beer to a minor when I didn't buy it for them or give it to them in any way. In essence the beer was stolen from me while I had my back turned and I was talking to friends. Please help. Thank you!
    Do you think NOW would be a good time to get an attorney?
  3. #3
    arizona24 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    I have already contacted two attorneys that I am going to meet with today and tomorrow. I was hoping for some insight from the community here if possible. I would prefer not to pay $500-$1000 for something I feel "seems" like an open and shut case, but I will do whatever it takes to make sure I have the best chance of getting this taken care of.

    Does anyone else have any advice?
  4. #4
    Kane is offline Member
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    May 2003
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    Austin, Texas
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    If you were charged under the following statute -

    G. A person who knowingly influences the sale, giving or serving of spirituous liquor to a person under the legal drinking age by misrepresenting the age of such person or who orders, requests, receives or procures spirituous liquor from any licensee, employee or other person with the intent of selling, giving or serving it to a person under the legal drinking age is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. In addition to other penalties provided by law, a judge may suspend a driver license issued to or the driving privilege of a person for not more than thirty days for a first conviction and not more than six months for a second or subsequent conviction under this subsection.
    --it's a jailable offense, so you will need an attorney.

    [url]http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/4/00241.htm&Title=4&DocType=ARS[/url]

    The maximum sentence for a class 1 in AZ is 6 months.

    In order to convict you, assuming you don't plead guilty, the state will have to prove your intent was to give the alcohol to the minors.

    That will be difficult for them to do, unless they have additional evidence beyond what you've described here.

    If the police fail to give a Miranda warning after you're arrested, they won't be able to use your statements in court. This applies to statements you make after you're arrested, not before.

    The ticket was a promise to appear in court.
  5. #5
    arizona24 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane
    If you were charged under the following statute -



    --it's a jailable offense, so you will need an attorney.

    [url]http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/4/00241.htm&Title=4&DocType=ARS[/url]

    The maximum sentence for a class 1 in AZ is 6 months.

    In order to convict you, assuming you don't plead guilty, the state will have to prove your intent was to give the alcohol to the minors.

    That will be difficult for them to do, unless they have additional evidence beyond what you've described here.

    If the police fail to give a Miranda warning after you're arrested, they won't be able to use your statements in court. This applies to statements you make after you're arrested, not before.

    The ticket was a promise to appear in court.
    I do not believe there could possibly be any other evidence that I am unaware of. The minors even told the police they did not ask me for any beer, did not ask me to buy them beer, and I did not offer it to them.

    I spoke to a lawyer friend today who called the prosecutors office and they told him that generally they offer diversion for this kind of offense (since it is my first and ONLY arrest ever). He said if they offer diversion it may be in my best interest to take it and chalk it up to experience. Even though this is a winnable case, it would cost me at least a couple thousand dollars to fight and if I do diversion the case would be dismissed anyway.

    At what point would you consider me "under arrest?" I feel it was when I was told that I could not go to the restroom and that I had to stay in front of the officer. This was when he asked for my ID and before he asked me any questions. My ticket even says "no" in the box that reads "miranda rights read?"

    Thank you for your reply. Can you, or anyone else, offer anymore insight?

    By the way, the ARS code they said I broke was 4-244.09 which can be read here: [url]http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/4/00244.htm&Title=4&DocType=ARS[/url]

    Thanks again!

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