As a Milwaukee lawyer who’s also a parent, I understand what it’s like to worry about your children. If your child is arrested for underage drinking in Wisconsin, especially in Milwaukee or Waukesha, here’s what you need to know.
What to Do if Your Child is Arrested for Underage Drinking
First things first: Get in touch with an attorney who can work within the legal system on behalf of your child. Your attorney will figure out what really happened, including what led up to the incident, and build a defense that gets your child the best possible outcome.
Stay calm, too. Underage drinking isn’t the end of the world for your child. If your child hasn’t been in any trouble with the law before, your attorney may be able to argue that his or her spotless record is enough to indicate that your child isn’t a “wayward” teen or a troublemaker. While there’s no way to guarantee how a judge will rule, it’s helpful to know that many minors are cited for underage drinking and that’s the end of it.
Underage Drinking in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know
Possession and consumption of alcohol by a minor – someone under the age of 21 – is illegal in Wisconsin except in certain circumstances. The exceptions include when the minor is with a parent or a spouse.
Criminal charges can arise when the minor uses a fake ID to purchase alcohol, though, just as they can when the child drinks and drives.
Penalties for underage drinking can include the loss of driving privileges (even if the minor didn’t drive while intoxicated), fines, and court-ordered supervision. The penalties can be more severe, depending on your child’s circumstances. However, you may find it helpful to know that the Department of Transportation does not disclose information about a juvenile’s underage alcohol conviction to anyone but the court, district attorney, prosecutor, law enforcement agency, the minor, and his or her parents or guardians.
Penalties are different for juveniles, who are children under the age of 17, and what the law defines as underage minors (those who are between the ages of 17 and 20).
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Your Child’s Underage Drinking Charges?
You may find it helpful to talk to a Milwaukee attorney who understands what you – and your child – are up against. If your child has been accused of underage drinking, OWI, or any other alcohol-related offense, we may be able to help.
Call us at 414-383-6700 to let us know what’s going on during your free case review. We’ll start developing a strategy that helps your child deal with this issue and gives you the peace of mind you need right now.