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underage possession of alcohol

lisa.maie

Junior Member
#1
In December, I was charged with Minor in possession of alcohol (3-3-23). I live in the state of Georgia. I was wondering if I should get court appointed lawyer and what the most likely outcome is. I was not driving, I was down town coming out of a bar with what was left of my drink and cop saw me. He told me about an open container law, which I had not known about. He gave me a citation for an open container too.I was 18 at the time but am now 19. I am a student in college and can not have a record nor go to jail nor do I have the money to pay for an attorney. What should I do?
 

quincy

Senior Member
#2
In December, I was charged with Minor in possession of alcohol (3-3-23). I live in the state of Georgia. I was wondering if I should get court appointed lawyer and what the most likely outcome is. I was not driving, I was down town coming out of a bar with what was left of my drink and cop saw me. He told me about an open container law, which I had not known about. He gave me a citation for an open container too.I was 18 at the time but am now 19. I am a student in college and can not have a record nor go to jail nor do I have the money to pay for an attorney. What should I do?
You will want an attorney.

Were you also carrying a fake ID?

What you are facing if convicted of the charges are fines and possible jail time and a criminal record. The criminal record can affect you in your ability to get a job and loans. Your school can take disciplinary action against you. And it is possible that your driver's license will be suspended even if you were a pedestrian when stopped.

The good news is that, as a first offender, you can be eligible for a diversion program or a conditional discharge.

Both the diversion program and the conditional discharge will require you complete certain terms or conditions to the satisfaction of the court during a probationary period. There will be community service hours to complete and Drug/alcohol classes to take and fees to pay. Any additional violation of the law during the period of probation means you will have a guilty plea entered (this for diversion) or you will be prosecuted (with a conviction likely).

Because jail time for MIPs/open container offenses is generally not ordered, you will probably have to locate your own attorney. Some attorneys in college towns offer payment plans or low flat rates. I suggest you try to find someone who will loan you money for an attorney (e.g., family, friends).

See O.C.G.A. section 3-3-23 and O.C.G.A. section 3-3-23.1:

https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2016/title-3/chapter-3/article-2/section-3-3-23/
https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2016/title-3/chapter-3/article-2/section-3-3-23.1

Good luck.
 
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