Has your child been cited for underage drinking in Indiana? If so, we know this is a stressful time for you and your family. No parent wants to see their child face a potential juvenile delinquency proceedings, which can later impact access to financial aid, eligibility to public housing, military enlistment, and more.
Indiana underage drinking defense lawyer Josiah Swinney at Camden & Meridew helps families resolve these issues. Swinney provides legal counsel and develops a strategy tailored to your child’s case.
What Is an Underage Drinking in Indiana Citation?
Indiana’s legal drinking age is 21. According to Indiana Code § 7.1-5-7-7, it is illegal for a minor to drink or possess any alcoholic beverage. It is also illegal for a minor to transport alcohol unless accompanied by at least a parent or legal guardian.
If your child was issued a citation by law enforcement for allegedly consuming, possessing, or illegally transporting alcohol, any of these could support a juvenile delinquency petition. If found to have committed the offense alleged, the court adjudicate the child a juvenile delinquent, which can have significant legal consequences.
Understanding Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings
Generally, a minor cannot be tried in a criminal court in Indiana. However, the law sets out a process for minors alleged to have committed a criminal offense, which includes proceedings similar to those in a criminal trial. Under Indiana Code § 31-37-1-2, a minor found to have committed an offense that would be a criminal offense if committed by an adult is adjudicated to be a delinquent.
What Happens to My Child if Found to Have Committed Drinking While Underage in Indiana?
If a court determines in a juvenile delinquency proceeding that your child consumed, possessed, or transported alcohol in violation of Indiana Code § 7.1-5-7-7, the State may file a petition alleging that the child is a juvenile delinquent. Numerous court appearances may be required.
If, at the conclusion of all the juvenile proceedings, the court determines that your child did commit an underage drinking offence, Indiana Code § 31-37-19-1 sets out some significant consequences for the child’s—and the parent’s—life. These include orders like the following:
- Placing the child on probation;
- Ordering the child to outpatient treatment;
- Placing the child in care outside of the parent’s home, such as shelter care, child institutional care, a group home, or a secure private facility; or
- Ordering wardship of the child to the state or another person.
Josiah Swinney helps families create a strategy focused on mitigating these and other consequences of an underage drinking citation.
How to Defend against an Underage Drinking Allegation
You may be worried there is no way for your child to defend himself or herself against underage drinking citation. However, Indiana underage drinking attorney Josiah Swinney can evaluate your child’s case and determine the best possible defense. His regular practice includes conducting a thorough investigation of the facts underlying the allegation. He then considers those facts against the laws on underage drinking in Indiana so that he can design a defense strategy to best protect your child’s future.
Juvenile delinquency proceedings are serious and can impact the entire family, making it important to consult with an experienced Indiana underage drinking lawyer as early in the process as possible.
Trust Camden & Meridew to Manage Your Child’s Underage Drinking in Indiana Case
Going to court without legal representation is both risky and scary. Without a highly-qualified Indiana attorney, your child may miss important opportunities to defend and protect their future. As a parent, you understandably want your child to achieve the best possible outcome in this unfortunate situation. Indiana underage drinking attorney Josiah Swinney at Camden & Meridew can help.
To defend your child against a citation for underage drinking in Indiana, reach out to Indiana underage drinking defense lawyer Josiah Swinney at Camden & Meridew by calling (317) 770-000 or by completing this online contact form.